Saturday, December 25, 2010


Poland has along standing tradition of tolerance towards minorities, as well as absence of discrimination on the grounds of religion, nationality or race. It has a high level of gender equality, promotes disability rights, and is, in general, legally and socially tolerant towards homosexuals. In fact, Poland is one of very few countries where historically homosexuality has never been banned, except when Poland lost sovereignty to foreign powers and for a few years after regaining independence. However, much of society still has a very conservative opinion of homosexuality, and with an overwhelmingly Roman-Catholic religious make-up, Poland has not yet found the political will to afford homosexual couples the same marital rights as heterosexuals.
Around 96.7% of the people of Poland claim Polish nationality, and 97.8% declare that they speak Polish at home (Census 2002). The population of Poland became one of the most ethnically homogeneous in the world as a result of the radically altered borders after World War II and the subsequent migrations. This homogeneity is a result of post-World War II deportations ordered by the Soviet authorities, who wished to remove the sizeable Polish minorities from Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine and deportations of Ukrainians from Poland (see territorial changes of Poland and historical demography of Poland for details).

Unlike in many other countries, the rights of ethnic minorities in Poland are guaranteed directly in the Constitution (art. 35), and today there are, amongst others, sizeable German, Ukrainian and Belarusian minorities present in the country.

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