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    Lawmakers protest Walesa’s hostility

    WARSAW — Poland’s first openly gay and transsexual lawmakers took seats on the front bench of Parliament on Wednesday to protest hostile remarks by former president Lech Walesa.

    Walesa, the leading hero in Poland’s successful anti-communist struggle in the 1980s, said Friday that gays belong on the back rows of Parliament, or “even behind the wall.”

    The words sparked huge outrage among liberal Poles, with some questioning whether the Nobel Peace Prize recipient permanently damaged his legacy.

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    On Wednesday, Robert Biedron, a gay rights activist, and Anna Grodzka, who had a male-to-female sex change operation, sat in the front row of the assembly.

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    The first row is reserved for prominent lawmakers. Biedron and Grodzka usually sit in the third row.

    Associated Press