On February 25th, a third of Poland has declared itself to be an official “LGBT-free” zone as local municipalities sign a pledge adopting resolutions against “LGBT propaganda”. The nearly 100 Polish municipal or local governments have pledged to “refrain from acts that encourage tolerance and must avoid providing financial assistance to NGOs working to promote equal rights.”
Shortly after activists revealed the extend of the anti-LGBT zones in Poland through an “Atlas of Hate” where you can see the extent of this pledge’s effects. The declared anti-LGBT zones is greater than the size of Hungary and continues to grow.
The pledges fall on the heels of PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s and his recent victory in his campaign, a campaign centered around strongly nationalistic, aggressive approaches to foreign policy, including hostile policies towards the EU, who has expressed concern of the growing anti-LGBT policies.
Even more terrifying, Andrzej Duda, Poland’s president, a terrifyingly homophobic leader, was sworn in on the 6th of August after winning his second term last month. He has gone on to call LGBT a worse “ideology” than communism, stating directly, “[My parents] didn’t fight for this so that a new ideology would appear that is even more destructive.”
He has gone on to say that “parents are responsible for the sexual education of their children,” and “it is not possible for any institutions to interfere in the way parents raise their children.”
According to the BBC on June 10th, “[Duda] signed a ‘Family Charter’ of election proposal, including pledges to prevent gay couples from marrying or adopting children and to ban teaching about LGBT issues in schools.”
As a response, LGBTQ+ citizens are fleeing Poland out of fear for their lives.
Polish LGBTQ+ activist, Bartosz Staszewski, told PinkNews, “We see LGBT+ people leaving Poland not for economic reasons but searching for a country that will respect them.”
The EU, growing concerned with the growing hostility towards LGBT individuals in Poland, has released a resolution, describing Poland’s measures as “a broader context of attacks against the LGBTQ community in Poland, which include growing hate speech by public and elected officials and public media, as well as attacks and bans on Pride marches and actions such as Rainbow Friday,” according to PinkNews.
And while racial tensions continue to rise in the U.S. and there are no clear steps from Trump’s administration to contain the pandemic, Trump has decided to make Andrzej Duda the first foreign leader to visit the White House since the nation-wide shutdown.
According to Politico, President Donald Trump has praised Poland for taking, “vigilant efforts to uphold the rule of law.”