First openly gay mayor elected in Poland

Warsaw – Voters in Poland have elected the country’s first openly gay mayor, a sign of growing tolerance for gays and lesbians in a country that has long been defined by a deep Roman Catholic conservatism.

Robert Biedron, who already made history in 2011 by becoming the first openly gay lawmaker in parliament, was elected mayor of the small city of Slupsk in northern Poland.

Results were released Monday of the runoff race, which took place on Sunday.

The elections for regional parliaments and municipal government saw a record number of openly gay candidates, though none of the others won seats.

Most of them are young and making their first runs for office, and they mostly represented left-wing parties that did poorly. The elections took place in two rounds over two weeks.

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