'We have the power': Poles march for LGBTQ+ rights

STORY: Waving the rainbow flags of the LGBTQ+ community and the blue, pink and white transgender flag, the marchers made their way through the city holding placards with slogans like "We make love not war" and "Jesus would walk with us."

According to a police spokeswoman around 7,500 people took part.

"It's very difficult to be queer in Poland, so it's nice to find a place where you can be yourself," said 24-year-old Sabina Joeck.

Gay rights are a highly divisive issue in predominantly Catholic Poland, and the country's ruling nationalists have made battling what they term LGBTQ+ "ideology" a key plank of election campaigns in recent years.

Religious conservatives are bitterly opposed to what they say is an ideology bent on undermining the traditional family, while more liberal Poles say such attitudes result in widespread discrimination.

A handful of protesters opposed to the march looked on holding Catholic rosary beads and a banner alleging that the LGBTQ+ "lobby" sought to sexualise children.

"I am not against homosexuals, these are just ordinary people like us," said a protester who gave her name as Margaret. "But I don't want them to get to our children."

Human rights groups reject accusations that teaching about LGBTQ+ issues in schools seeks to sexualise children.

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