Last week the French community of Saint-Jean-de-Brave announced that they would be severing ties between them and their twin city of Tuchow, Poland. This move comes after a Tuchow adopted an anti-LGBT+ declaration back in May of last year that stated that they wanted to “defend themselves” against so-called “radicals… who attack freedom of speech, childhood innocence, the authority of family and school and the freedom of businesspeople”.
Due to Tuchows adoption of this declaration, the town of Saint-Jean-de-Brave have openly condemned Tuchow’s decision and have cut ties with them due to their outward discrimination of LGBT+ people.
In a statement, sister municipality in central France explained the decision saying: “France is committed to combating human rights violations based on sexual orientation. We cannot accept that the ties that unite our two cities by a twinning oath be tainted. We condemn the position taken by our twin city of Tuchow.”
The mayor of the south-eastern town of Tuchow, Magdalena Marszalek, denounced the decision made by the community of Saint-Jean-de-Braye and claimed that the unusual action was due to campaigns ahead of local elections in the area.
Marszalek expressed her disappointment with the cities severing ties stating the move will cut friendly relations among residents, as Tuchow will no longer be able to sponsor visits by people from Saint-Jean-de-Braye.
The anti-LGBT+ declaration in question was adopted by local councillors of Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice party last year, and Marszalek explained that Saint-Jean-de-Braye move to sperate the two cities is unfair as many people within the community disagree with the changes made by the government.
Following the formation of these zones, the European Parliament subsequently held a vote to adopt a resolution condemning these homophobic “zones”. The call for a resolution to these zones won, with 463 of MEPs voting in favour, 107 against and 105 abstaining, which aims to tackle discrimination and violence against the LGBT+ community in all European states, but has a particular focus on Poland. Saint-Jean-de-Braye’s separation from Tuchow, where these zones are still being enforced, highlights the stance of both the town itself and France as a whole that discrimination will not be tolerated, regardless previous of alliances or ties.
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