Roman Jacek Giertych (Polish pronunciation: [ˈrɔman ˈɡʲɛrtɨx]; born 27 February 1971 in Śrem, Poland) is a Polish politician; he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education until August 2007. He was a member of the Sejm (the lower house of the Polish parliament) from 2001 until October 2007 and the chairman of the League of Polish Families party.
Roman Giertych comes from a family of Polish politicians, a son of Maciej Giertych and a grandson of Jędrzej Giertych. His uncle on his father's side is Wojciech Giertych, O.P., Theologian of the Pontifical Household and professor of theology at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome. Two of his aunts also entered religious life.
He excelled in history throughout his school years while his grades in other subjects remained average. His teacher of biology recalls him questioning the validity of the theory of evolution; a stance that he carried away from his family home, especially his father (a Ph.D. in forest genetics), a notable creationist.
He graduated from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań with master's degrees in both law and history. In 1989, he reactivated the far-right All-Polish Youth organization, becoming its chairman; he remains honorary chairman to this day. For several years he was a member of the National-Democratic Party and the National Party, which merged with several other organizations to form the League of Polish Families (Liga Polskich Rodzin, LPR) in 2001.
Giertych and the LPR have a strong national and anti-EU profile. Prior to the 2003 Polish referendum on EU membership, the LPR campaigned against it, denouncing it as a "centralised, socialist superstate". Officially, the LPR declares that it favours a "Europe of nations". Under Giertych's leadership, the LPR was successful in the European Parliament elections in June 2004, temporarily becoming the second-strongest Polish party with 14% of the votes. His father Maciej Giertych was elected MEP. In the 2005 parliamentary elections, LPR gained 8% of the votes.
In July 2004, Roman Giertych was elected a member and vice-chairman of PKN Orlen investigation commission, which is credited, among other things, with destroying the presidential aspirations of Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz.
On 5 May 2006, Giertych was appointed as Minister of Education and vice-premier, while the LPR joined a governmental coalition with PiS. His nationalist views made the decision controversial by some. The following day, about 100 people protested in front of the Ministry of Education against this appointment. A couple of weeks, later almost 140 000 people signed a petition to remove him from the post.
In March 2007 Roman Giertych proposed a bill that would ban homosexual people from the teaching profession and would also allow dismiss from employment those teachers who promote "the culture of homosexual lifestyle"
In the 2015 parliamentary election, Giertych unsuccessfully ran for the Senate as an independent candidate with Civic Platform support.
Giertych was involved in helping the Jewish community of Góra Kalwaria to reclaim and a process of restoration of a local synagogue. The project span a period of 2 years, culminating in 2016. Roman Giertych has been appointed as the lawyer of the head of the European Council, Donald Tusk, in an inquiry into the cooperation of Polish services with the Russian FSB.