Polish anti-LGBT zones growing in power, EU reacts

In the recent months in Poland, around 93 local councils in around 14 districts (voivodships) in Poland have adopted anti-LGBTI statements or resolutions.

These resolutions are incompatible with the Polish Constitution and basic standards of the international human rights law Poland has undertaken to respect. Their language is scandalous: the resolutions speak of “stopping of the gender and LGBT ideology”, “aggressive homosexual propaganda”, “stopping homoterror and sexualisation of social life”. e resolutions drive fear, contempt and hate towards LGBTI persons. Polish activists created the Atlas of Hate showing the towns and villages that adopted shameful resolutions. These resolutions are mostly concentrated in the south-east of the country and account already for around 30 % of Polish population. Most recently the local council in one of the biggest Polish cities, Łódź adopted so called Local Charter of Family Rights based on the model put forward by Polish anti-rights organisation Ordo Iuris. This is done in the name of “protection of traditional family” which is allegedly threatened by the LGBTI+ persons. In practice, it means that no training on countering discrimination or sexuality education could take place in the communities under the resolutions.

Great Coalition for Equality and Choice (note: a Polish coalition of over hundred feminist organisations and informal groups united under the themes of women’s rights umbrella (SRHR and combatting violence against women) sent a letter to mayors calling them to deem invalid these scandalous resolutions, in hope for some reasonable and humane reaction.

On 18 December 2019 the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning Poland’s ‘LGBTI-free zones, demanding that EU ministers unblock an EU directive on non-discrimination. On 4 February 2020 the EU Commissioner for equality, Helena Dalli spoke out against towns in Poland that have labelled themselves “free” from lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex communities.

In practice, people are the target, individual human beings, not an ideology. Accepting of hate speech which allows for violence is totally unacceptable. Additionally shocking is that it origins from the public authorities who should be responsible for the promotion of antidiscrimination and protection of human rights.