(BBC) – Polish President Andrzej Duda has called the promotion of LGBT rights an “ideology” more destructive than communism, in a campaign speech.
He is an ally of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS), and is seeking re-election on 28 June.
He said his parents’ generation had struggled against communist ideology for 40 years and “they didn’t fight for this so that a new ideology would appear that is even more destructive”.
Critics say PiS has an anti-gay agenda.
The LGBT rights group ILGA-Europe says Poland is the worst-performing country in the EU in terms of LGBT rights, in an index published last month.
PiS won a majority in parliament with a conservative-nationalist agenda strong on Catholic values, including support for traditional families and opposition to gay marriage.
Speaking to supporters in Brzeg, southwestern Poland, Mr Duda said “parents are responsible for the sexual education of their children,” and “it is not possible for any institutions to interfere in the way parents raise their children”.
On 10 June he signed a “Family Charter” of election proposals, including pledges to prevent gay couples from marrying or adopting children and to ban teaching about LGBT issues in schools.