POLAND – Polish anti-LGBT zones growing in power

In recent months, around 93 localcouncils in around 14 districts in Poland have adopted anti-LGBTI statements orresolutions. These resolutions are incompatible with the Polish Constitutionand basic standards in the international human rights law that Poland hasundertaken to respect. The language is scandalous: the resolutions speak of“stopping gender and LGBT ideology”, “aggressive homosexual propaganda”,“stopping homo-terror and sexualisation of social life”. These resolutionsdrive fear, contempt and hate towards LGBTI persons.

In response, Polish activistscreated the Atlas of Hate showing the towns and villages that adopted shamefulresolutions. These resolutions are mostly concentrated in the southeast of the countryand already account for around 30% of Polish population. Most recently, thelocal council in the city of Łódź adopted a so-called “Local Charter of FamilyRights” based on the model put forward by the Polish anti-rights organisationOrdo Iuris. This is in the name of “protection of the traditional family” whichis allegedly threatened by LGBTI+ persons. In practice, it means that notraining on countering discrimination and no sexuality education can take placein the communities who signed the resolution.

The Great Coalition for Equalityand Choice (a Polish coalition of over 100 feminist organisations and informalgroups united under a women’s rights umbrella (SRHR and combatting violenceagainst women) sent a letter to mayors calling on them to declare thesescandalous resolutions invalid, in hopes of some reasonable and humanereaction.

On 18 December 2019, the EuropeanParliament adopted a resolution condemning Poland’s ‘LGBTI-free zones’, basedon an EU directive on non-discrimination. On 4 February 2020 the EUCommissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, spoke out against towns in Poland thathave labelled themselves “free” from lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersexcommunities.

In practice, it is people who arethe target, individual human beings, not an ideology. Promoting hate speechwhich instigates violence is totally unacceptable. Additionally shocking isthat it sometimes originates from the same public authorities who should beresponsible for the promotion of anti-discrimination and protection of humanrights.

SOURCE + PHOTO: Federation forWomen and Family Planning, March2020