Supe Proposes End to Walesa Street
A San Francisco supervisor is fed up with anti-gay sentiment from former Polish President Lech Walesa and wants to rename a city street that was named for him decades ago.
District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim this week proposed that Lech Walesa Street, a small alley located near Civic Center in her district, be renamed for the late gay rights advocate Dr. Tom Waddell.
The alley was renamed from Ivy to Lech Walesa in 1986 to honor the Nobel Prize-winner, who founded the Solidarity union and led the battle for democracy against the former Soviet Union.
Kim’s proposal was in response to Walesa’s recent televised homophobic and transphobic rant. During a March 1 appearance on TVN 24 responding to questions about current proposed legislation for civil partnerships for LGBT individuals, Walesa stated that LGBT politicians should "sit at the back of the parliament" or even "behind a wall."
"They have to know that they are a minority and must adjust to smaller things and not rise to the greatest heights, the greatest hours, the greatest provocations, spoiling things for the others and taking [what they want] from the majority," he told the newscaster. "I don’t agree to this and I will never agree to it."
Kim’s proposal to change Lech Walesa Street to Tom Waddell Place was supported by gay Supervisors Scott Wiener (D8) and David Campos (D9), along with Supervisor John Avalos (D11).
Waddell was an Olympic athlete and founder of the Gay Games. He died of AIDS-related complications in 1987. A health clinic named for him is located at 50 Lech Walesa.