Around 30 communities across Poland, from villages to regional assemblies, have declared themselves ‘free of LGBTI ideology,’ a local LGBTI group declared yesterday (10 June).
There are vast legal discrepancies between queer folk and non-LGBTI residents in the European country, one whose culture is entrenched in Catholicism.
The Campaign Against Homophobia’s (KPH) claim comes with a backdrop of Poland’s ruling party leader declaring homosexuality a ‘threat’ back in April.
According to France24, Magdalena Swider, an official with the KPH, made the claim.
She said: ‘There are currently around 30 local authorities that have adopted such [anti-LGBTI] statements.’
‘It’s a direct response to an anti-discrimination declaration adopted by Warsaw city hall in February to act in favour of the LGBT community.’
Moreover, the KPH’s comment is in direct response to Warsaw Mayor, Rafał Trzaskowski. The leader of the country’s capital signed a measure in February affirming LGBTI rights in the city.
PiS vs The LGBTI community
But the claim was fuel to the fire started by Jarosław Kaczyński’s right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party. The ruling government is currently campaigning ahead of the general elections in the Fall.
Furthermore, Kaczyński has placed LGBTI rights in the center of hot public debates as part of its re-ëlection campaign. In what the party leader has described as an ‘ideological war.’
According to the KPH, the eastern town of Swidnik announced in March that it was ‘free of LGBT ideology.’
Meanwhile, the southern city of Lublin recently gave awards to local officials who have opposed: ‘LGBT ideology, which goes against the family, the nation and the Polish state,’ according to local media.
LGBTI rights in Poland
Compared to some patches of Europe, progress in Poland has been sluggish. But activists have pressed lawmakers to enact great change.
Tireless activists have campaigned and made great strides in the country. Lawmakers have introduced some groundbreaking measures, such as enabling gay men to donate blood and bills protecting LGBTIs legally.
And some progress is in the pipeline. KPH plan to pitch a bill that will draft ban conversion therapy in the upcoming months.
However, marriage equality, legal protections in the area of gender identity, and adoption remain far off in the distance for the country.