Homosexuality remains very much a taboo in Poland and much of the region, and activists are up against a widespread belief that homosexuality is an illness and that gays and lesbians should seek psychological help, according to the AP.
"Homosexuality should be cured," said Miroslawa Nowakowska, 55, a retired teacher in Warsaw who voiced the opposition many older and conservative Poles feel to Saturday's march. "Illnesses should be treated and not advertised."
Such thinking is to some extent a legacy of decades of communist ideology, which long held that "deviations" such as homosexuality did not exist in the ideal socialist world. In mainly Roman Catholic Poland, it is reinforced by the strong role the church plays in political and social life.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his speech dedicated to the Day of the Russian Navy, recalled the threats that Russia is currently facing from a number of countries.