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Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Earlier this week, the Freethinker ran a story about Polish Catholics being unhappy because of Kraków’s plans to target the pink pound:

Catholics in Poland are aghast that the city wants gays, rather than drunken straight stag-nighters to visit Kraków, which has lost patience with boozy Brits.

My excuse for mentioning it here is so that I can share with you the photograph Barry Duke has chosen to go with his story, which depicts the Polish cycling team resplendent in all their rather revealing Lycra-short-wearing glory!

The Freethinker picked up on the story from the Observer of 17 August:

[T]ourist authorities in the medieval city have outraged Catholic opinion by announcing plans to target the pink purse instead, with a new website and a city map for gay tourists.

Outraged public opinion? For pity’s sake, what is it with these religionists that they are always so outraged?

Howled Piotr Kucharski, spokesman for the Christian Culture Association: “I don’t know which is worse! Drunken Britons may get their genitals out in public. But we don’t want gays performing public obscenities either.”

What, like kissing or holding hands?

Besieged by protests, city tourist bosses have dropped the word “gay” from their vocabulary. Said Magdalena Sroka, who heads the Kraków Festival Office: “I’ve been told by my bosses that I’m not allowed to speak on this subject.

Happily, though, she then went on to do just that:

We’re planning to broaden our offer to include the gay and lesbian target group. In the autumn we’ll be launching a special online section on gay tourism.


Izabela Helbin, from the city’s marketing and promotion office, told the daily Gazeta Wyborcza: “Research shows that gays and lesbians spend significantly more on holidays and entertainment than tourists travelling with family or friends. We plan to make money on this.”

That’s the capitalist spirit!

Club, pub and hotel owners are all for extending a special welcome to gay tourists. “Jesus, yes!” said Thomas Naughton, owner of Irish bar Nic Nowego (Nothing New), adding: “Gay tourists behave a lot better – and they have more money. We were the first place in Kraków to put up signs saying ‘no Stag nights’.”

You can read the full Freethinker story here, but I’m off to gobble some Polish sausage!

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