Political authorities have canceled a Pride march in Lublin, Poland.
LGBTI rights groups organized the parade for 13 October. It would have been Lublin’s first Marsz Równości’ (Equality March).
However, the milestone event for the LGBTI community couldn’t go ahead as local authorities cited ‘security concerns’.
According to local reports, the regional governor Przemysław Czarnek, appointed by the ruling and anti-LGBTI Law & Justice (PiS) party, called on Mayor Krzysztof Żuk to cancel the event.
Czarnek said the march promoted ‘sexual behaviour incompatible with nature’ and ‘pedophilia’. He also accused equality demonstrators of ‘deviance’ and ‘perversion’.
Cancelling Lublin Pride is ‘deeply depressing’
‘It is deeply depressing that we keep having to have the same conversations about Poland,’ President of the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA), Kristine Garina told the European Pride Organizers Association.
‘Opposition to equality marches in Poland has found its way into European case law on the freedom of assembly, and you would think that eight years after Warsaw hosted EuroPride, attitudes would be changing.’
She furthermore added: ‘But this is not the case. The Equality March this weekend must be allowed to go ahead. Right-wing and homophobic city officials like Mayor Żuk must realise they cannot stand in the way of LGBTI people’s human rights, even when elections are approaching. We will be watching to see what happens this weekend and we demand that this unlawful ban is lifted.’
Activists are trying to organize a counter-walk on the same day.
Pride in Warsaw
Last June, Parada Równości in the Polish capital Warsaw went ahead with the support of the regional government. 45,000 LGBTIs and allies gathered in the city center on 9 June 2018.
Nonetheless, LGBTIs still face discrimination and violence in the country.
In September, five people attacked and destroyed a Pride display at a street fair in Szczecin, a small city in north-west Poland.
LGBTI rights in Poland
The LGBTI march would have been an opportunity to bring the attention on marriage equality and civil unions.
Same-sex marriage, in fact, is not legal in the country. Moreover, same-sex couples can’t adopt children and there is only partial recognition of cohabitation rights.