Cork town issues ultimatum to Polish twin town over anti-LGBT+ laws

Fermoy in County Cork is one of the many communities across Europe which have taken issue with the introduction of “LGBT-free zones” across Poland.

A group of people at Cork Pride holding rainbow coloured balloons which spell out REBELS

Fermoy in County Cork is Ireland’s most southerly point and also the twin town to the Nowa Deba in Poland, however, the twinning arrangements between the two communities may soon be terminated due to Poland’s anti-LGBT+ laws.

Like many other towns and cities across Europe, Fermoy has publicly denounced the introduction of “LGBT-free zones” in certain areas of Poland, Nowa Deba being one of them. The town of Fermoy is now going a step further, issuing an ultimatum to Nowa Deba: reverse its decision to declare itself as an “LGBT-free zone”, or the twinning agreement between the two towns will be terminated, effective immediately. 

Noel McCarthy, a local councillor in Fermoy, Cork, has called for the community to severe its ties with its twin town of Nowa Deba which implement these anti-LGBT+ laws. Although a debate was scheduled to be held around the issue this week by the town council, it has since been postponed in the wake of the ever-growing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Speaking on the current situation McCarthy said:  “I will be asking our municipal district council to write to the Polish municipal council and demand an answer, in the meantime, I want to suspend the town twinning arrangement with them.”

He went on to explain that “if they [the council of Nowa Deba] don’t reply positively then we [Fermoy] will immediately terminate the twinning arrangement, which our municipal district council funds.”

McCarthy has been speaking out against Poland’s anti-LGBT+ laws and so-called “LGBT-free zones” since he was made aware of the situation earlier in the month. He explained that the community of Fermoy should take a stance against this type of discrimination, as other European towns and cities already have, because “here in Ireland, we recognise gay marriage and we don’t discriminate against any of the LGBT+ community or any other communities for that matter.”

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