Three years ago Robert Biedron made history in Poland by becoming the first openly gay member of parliament. Yesterday he celebrated another first by becoming the country’s first openly gay mayor.
The 38-year-old’s political successes are a marker of how quickly this deeply conservative and Catholic country has changed in the decade since it joined the European Union. Back then, in 2004, gay rights marches were still being banned in Warsaw and homosexuality was treated as a huge taboo. Since then a growing acceptance of gay and lesbian people has arrived hand-in-hand with a flourishing economy.