- Homophobic President Andrzej Duda is up against the LGBT+ ally Rafał Trzaskowski in the presidential election.
Poland’s president has promised to ban LGBT+ teaching in schools and to ensure same-sex couples can’t adopt kids.
It comes as President Andrzej Duda faces a tight race for re-election on 28 June. Warsaw’s Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski, an LGBT+ ally, has emerged as his leading opponent.
Duda is formally an independent but, in practice, is the candidate for the current ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS). And the PiS has previously stirred up homophobia to win the elections for Poland’s parliament, the Sjem, last year.
Meanwhile Duda already has a mechanism to deliver on his ban on LGBT+ teaching if he wins. The Sjem is currently considering an anti-LGBT+ Stop Pedophilia bill that could destroy sex education in the country.
By contrast if Trzaskowski wins, he could veto the bill.
Equal marriage is ‘a foreign ideology’
Duda signed a Family Card or Family Charter which his opponents describe as ‘brutal’.
And he told his supporters: ‘Parents are responsible for the sexual education of their children. It is not possible for any institutions to interfere in the way parents raise their children.’
Moreover, he said he wouldn’t allow same-sex couples ot marry or adopt children.
Duda said: ‘It’s a foreign ideology. There is no consent for this phenomenon to happen in our country in any way.’
Two sections of the Family Charter attack LGBT+ rights.
One pledges to ‘defend the institution of marriage’. Duda insists marriage must remain a ‘relationship between a woman and a man’.
The charter adds there can be ‘no consent for the adoption of children by homosexual couples’.
Meanwhile another section sets out to ‘defend’ children from ‘LGBT ideology’.
It promises to ‘ban the propagation of LGBT ideology in public institutions’ and says ‘parents are responsible for sex education’.
Poland now has 100 municipalities and five voivodships or provinces, the largest administrative unit in Poland, which have declared themselves ‘LGBT-Free Zones’. Together they cover a third of the country and make up an area around the size of Hungary.
Tight race between Duda and Trzaskowski
The ‘Family Charter’ may be a deliberate attempt to contrast with Trzaskowski’s ‘LGBT Charter’ or ‘LGBT Declaration’ he introduced in Warsaw last year.
It included allowing LGBT+ education in schools in the Polish capital.
Trzaskowski has also backed civil partnerships for same-sex marriage but stops short of supporting equal marriage.
Duda, 48, was well ahead in his re-election race this spring. However, coronavirus delayed the vote which was due to take place on 6 May.
Trzaskowski, also aged 48, then entered the race as a late contender for the Civil Platform party and surged up the polls.
The latest polling indicates Duda will be the most popular choice in the first round on 42%. But that puts him well away from the 50% he needs – so the vote will go to a second round between the top two candidates.
At that stage Trzaskowski is likely to be his contender and the polling indicates a tight race.
Polish liberals say a Trzaskowski is the best way to stop PiS pushing their anti-EU, anti-LGBT+ agenda on Poland.