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’, a movement which LGBT Ireland is now calling on the Irish Government to condemn.
This rhetoric is echoed by President Duda whos right-wing party PiS has been chipping away at LGBT+ rights since they came into power.
Today, August 28, LGBT Ireland has called on the Irish Government and European MEPs to condemn the ant-LGBT+ movement.
In a statement, they said that the sustained and increasing attack on LGBT+ people in Poland “has come in the form of dangerous and false framing of LGBT+ people as a threat to children and Christianity.
“This intentional framing has created an environment normalising anti-LGBT+ sentiment, both amongst the public and in institutions, as evidenced by the anti-LGBT+ resolutions, declarations and charters adopted by numerous local governments in Poland over the past year.”
In protest against the openly homophobic leanings of the government, activists had begun decorating monuments and statues with rainbow flags and face masks. One of the activists, Margot Szutowicz, was charged and given a two-month pre-trial detention order for her part in the action. Szutowicz was then also accused of assaulting a driver for a pro-life organisation. She could face up to five years in prison if convicted.
Police came to pick up Szutowicz from the headquarters of Campaign Against Homophobia in Warsaw, whereupon the activist left the building and repeatedly held her hands out to be cuffed. The police initially avoided detaining her due to witnesses and media being present. As this continued, ILGA reported that a “spontaneous solidarity demonstration” sprung up as activists tried to block a police car in an act of civil disobedience against the severity of Szutowicz’s sentence.
Speaking on the arrest of Szutowicz, LGBT Ireland has requested Irish Ministers and our Members of European Parliament join in on this call and condemn the anti-LGBT+ movement in Poland:
“Ireland and the EU must stand up against State-sponsored homophobia to uphold the integrity of the EU principles of equality and non-discrimination so that no EU citizen is in danger of being humiliated, threatened, or incarcerated because of their LGBTI+ identity.”
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