Robert Biedron on Monday became
Poland's first openly gay mayor.
Biedron, who in 2011 became the
nation's first openly gay lawmaker in parliament, was elected mayor
of the northern city of Slupsk.
The 38-year-old Biedron told the AP
that he was proud of the changes that have taken place in the decade
since Poland joined the European Union. In 2004, Gay Pride marches
were routinely banned.
“I see how fast Polish society has
learned its lesson of tolerance,” Biedron
said. “So I am very optimistic and happy with Polish society –
Mariusz Kurc, editor of Replika,
an LGBT advocacy magazine, said 2014 was “a record breaking” year
for openly LGBT candidates. In what the media has dubbed the
“Biedron effect,” several candidates announced their sexuality
before the local elections. Biedron, however, was the only candidate
“These people have enormous courage,
in my opinion,” Kurc said.
Biedron has pledged to turn around
Slupsk's depressed economy with investments in green energy.