The Tolerance Rainbow in Warsaw, Poland, has been removed. Since its unveiling in 2012 during Poland's EU presidency, the monument has been a symbol for tolerance of homosexuality. The monument was 9 meters high and 26 meters wide, and was created out of artificial flowers.
The monument is also one of the few monuments in the world that has been destroyed multiple times. It has been destroyed almost every year by right-wing homophobes and religious groups, nearly burning down at one occasion. The monument was scheduled to be at its current location to the end of 2015, but some politicians in the city wanted it gone sooner. It would be moved to a different location, but the decision on the new location has not been made yet. Some fear the monument will not be relocated at all.
Hundreds of people watched the demolition of the monument to take a flower home as a reminder of the monument, fearing it will not be resurrected at a different location. The reason the monument is demolished prior to schedule is partly because politician Stanislaw Pieta had been complaining for some time that the monument would hurt some people's feelings. Roman-Catholic priest Tadeusz Rydzyk described it as a symbol of abnormality. For years, the monument has evoked a nation-wide debate with many supporters on its side, but with almost as much opponents. The ownership of the monument has now been transferred to the Centre for Contemporary Art.
Polish politics has become more and more gay friendly over the years. But in the past, this was completely different. At the time Lech Kaczynski was still in power, he ruled the country with an iron homophobic fist with his twin brother Jaroslaw. Each year the country was ruled by them, Gay Prides were banned and homosexuals were arrested. Lech's death in 2010 paved the way for a new president and the tide starting turning with more politicians defending homosexuals and transgender people.
In 2011 Polish history was written with the first openly transgender politician Anna Grodzka, who is still active in the Polish parliament. In December 2014, the country wrote history again with the first openly gay politician Robert Biedron, mayor of the city of Slupsk. When it comes to equal rights and the attitude of the Polish population, a lot still needs to be done to improve the attitude towards homosexuality and transgenders. This homophobia mostly comes from the extreme right and Catholics.