Joe Biden denounces towns in Poland that declare themselves 'LGBT-free zones'

US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden quoted Ursula von der Leyen's comments on the situation in Poland saying "LGBTQ+ rights are human rights".

Joe Biden Poland. Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden walking with supporters at a pre-Wing Ding march from Molly McGowan Park in Clear Lake, Iowa.

US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has said the ‘LGBT-free zones’ in Poland have “no place in the EU or the world”.

Biden tweeted an ABC article from ABC News, in which the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen strongly condemned Poland’s ‘LGBT-free zones’ while delivering her first State of the Union address.

Quoting the article in which von der Leyen addressed the situation in Poland, Joe Biden tweeted:

“Let me be clear: LGBTQ+ rights are human rights — and “LGBT-free zones” have no place in the European Union or anywhere in the world”.

Since the rise of anti-LGBT+ discrimination in Poland, the EU has continuously spoken out against this harmful rhetoric. In July 2020, the Commission rejected the applications of six ‘LGBTQI-free’ Polish towns for community funding because their discriminatory political stance does not respect “fundamental rights”.

Last week, Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher criticised the leader of Poland’s leading political party, Jarosław Kaczyński, who said that unless he and his party continue to oppose “culturally alien novelties” from the west, Poland could end up like Ireland.

Mr Kelleher responded saying: “Mr Kaczynski, Ireland is a modern, progressive country where people can be who they are or who they want to be.”

Mr Kelleher told that Mr Kaczynski “may view Ireland becoming more open, tolerant and respectful as a problem, but I see it as a victory for decency and pluralism.

“Our republic is stronger, not weaker because it is inclusive and progressive.”

Over the past two years, the rise in homophobic discourse in Poland has resulted in over a third of the country declaring itself an ‘LGBT+ free zone’.

In July, the European Commission announced that they will freeze funding for those ‘LGBT+ free zones’.

At the end of August, Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, addressed the ongoing discrimination against the LGBT+ community in Poland and reaffirmed Ireland’s commitment to LGBT+ rights.

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