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This year's Gay Parade in the Polish capital Warsaw gets underway after the country's President Bronislaw Komorowski refused to assume patronage over the event.
The move was criticised by the opposition party The Democratic Left Alliance (SLD). "I hope it was the decision of the President’s advisers and that he himself holds a different view," the SLD spokesman said.
Although same sex activities is legal in Poland, couples are not eligible to the same legal protection available to opposite-sex couples.
Demonstrations against the parades took place in the cities of Krakow and Warsaw in 2004 and similarly in 2005 to prevent clashes with protesters.
In other cases, the planned dates either coincided with religious dates or the organizers were unable to present a permit to go ahead with the festivities.