Quantcast

Couple condemns Polish address

It was first shown on St. Patrick’s Day and later that day Astoria resident Brendan Fay got a strange call from a Polish radio program.
The native of Ireland later learned that along with a brief video clip of his wedding to Dr. Tom Moulton, Polish President Lech Kaczynski had showcased a copy of the Queens gay couple’s marriage certificate during a televised address - warning that a new European Union treaty would open the door to same-sex marriage in Poland.
Kaczynski said that the treaty did not specify marriage was between a man and woman, and therefore the article “may go against the universally accepted moral order in Poland,” according to Polish reports.
After hearing of the speech, Fay said that he almost immediately began drafting a complaint to the Polish consulate to express his “serious concerns at the manner in which our wedding footage was used in a campaign promoting intolerance and fear of lesbian and gay couples.”
Later, the calls kept pouring in - from media outlets around the world and from supporters in New York, Ireland and Poland, where a number of officials including the Prime Minister Donald Tusk have since blasted the Polish president’s address.
“People, I think, are very taken aback and appalled that pictures of the most beautiful day of our lives for both of us were used in such a way,” Fay said.
The reporters asked if Fay would demand an apology, if he would ever meet with the Polish leader but also delved into the couple’s life and faith as Catholics.
“I’ve decided that this is an opportunity for the people of Poland to learn about same sex couples, to find out who we are since we were part of the televised address,” Fay said, later adding, “I’ve welcomed that opportunity to speak about the struggles of lesbian and gay people around the world.”
Fay, a 49-year-old filmmaker and community activist who is one of the leading organizers of the annual Sunnyside St. Pat’s Parade for All, remembered first meeting his would-be spouse at church.
“I was late for Mass that evening so I stepped into a pew towards the back and I sat beside this man … I said to myself I’m going to get this man’s telephone number before the night is out,” he said.
During a May 2003 ceremony, the couple wed at an Episcopal church, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity in Brooklyn, at a ceremony officiated by a Catholic priest. An Irish documentary program filmed Fay’s church wedding to 50-year-old Moulton, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist.
“We had a great celebration … and yet we walked out the door legal strangers though to everyone present this was our wedding,” Fay said.
Two months later, Ontario changed its laws to include gay couples.
“I remember being moved to tears as I watched the news come in via the Internet,” Fay said.
At a ceremony on Toronto in July 2003, Fay and Moulton had a legal ceremony - at the time the process was so new that Judge Harvey Brownstone, who officiated, had to cross off the word bride because no suitable certificates had yet been made.
Of all the people in the world, Kaczynski chose Fay, a long-time gay-rights activist, who was tossed out of his job at Mary Louis Academy in Jamaica after parading with a gay group in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1991.
If offered the opportunity, Fay said he would meet with Kaczynski.
“I really look forward to turning this around, turning it into something good,” Fay said.

More from Around New York