Ireland’s ambassador to Poland, Anna Sochańska, dismissed claims of a “Polexit” stating “There is no intention whatsoever for Poland to leave the European Union”.
This follows a recent ruling by Poland’s Supreme Court stating that some EU laws are incompatible with Poland’s constitution. This ruling effectively means that the Polish constitution supersedes EU legislation. This led to suggestions by some of a potential “Polexit” with possible consequences for Poland’s LGBTQ+ citizens. In the case of an EU introduced directive preventing discrimination of the basis of sexuality, this would be effectively ruled out by Poland’s national laws.
This ruling occurs amid ongoing tension between Poland and other EU member states due to disagreement regarding Poland’s conservative stance toward abortion and LGBTQ+ issues. Approximately 100 towns in Poland have been designated as “LGBT free zones” which has drawn widespread international criticism and threatened cuts to funding from the EU.
Sochańska defended Poland’s stance on LGBTQ+ issues stating that, “There are no LGBT-free zones in Poland” adding that such regions are “the lowest level” of government and “very independent”.
”We have a provision in the constitution that marriage is a union of a man and a woman.”
”People say we discriminate against gay people, you cannot say so because the Polish constitution is the highest possible document in Poland and is the will of the people.
“If one day, Polish people decided that they want to have one-sex marriages, they will elect people such as politicians who will start the debate on the change of the Constitution.
”Then, one day we might have another provision in our constitution. For the time being, it is the will of the nation of the majority of the nation.”
Regarding Poland’s near total ban on abortion, Sochańska acknowledged that “the law on abortion is very rigid” and that “in Poland, the life starts when it’s conceived”.
”Whenever I read about Poland, I read about authoritarian state nationalistic government, but those people they were elected by ordinary citizens and they didn’t form the government because they are authoritarians, they were elected by millions of voters. So this is their legitimate right to be conservative.”
Abortion Without Borders, an organisation supporting people in Poland requiring access to abortion services says it helped 17,000 people in the six months following the Polish constitutional court ruling.
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