Poland elects first openly gay mayor in northern city

December 1, 2014 16:43

WARSAW - Poland has elected its first openly gay city mayor, in a result hailed by rights activists as a sign of slowly crumbling taboos in what is still one of Europe's most devoutly Roman Catholic countries.

Polish social attitudes have become increasingly liberal and secular, especially among the younger generation, as the economy has boomed and Poles have traveled more widely since their country joined the European Union a decade ago.

Local media attributed Robert Biedron's victory in Sunday's mayoral election in Slupsk, a city of over 90,000 near the Baltic coast, to hard work and grassroots canvassing among voters he had previously served as their member of parliament.

But the election of Biedron, 38, also shows deeper changes afoot in Poland, said Agata Chaber, head of the Warsaw-based Campaign Against Homophobia non-governmental organization.

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