For the past 30 days, Polish LGBTQ+ organisation, Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH) has been tweeting to EU commissioners one story of an LGBTQ person living in Poland, showing how ‘LGBT-free’ zones affect their lives.
The goal of the campaign is to bombard EU commissioners with stories of people from the LGBTQ+ community, indicating the necessity for the EU to initiate an infringement procedure against Poland.
Last September, ILGA-Europe together with KPH and Poland’s Fundacja Równości (The Equality Foundation) submitted a legal complaint to the European Commission about so-called Family Charters and ‘LGBT Free Zones’, which over 100 Polish local governments have adopted over the last two years.
Time 4 #infringementnow against Poland 4 violating fundamental rights of EU citizens & disregarding EU treaties with so-called ‘LGBT-Free Zones’ & ‘Family Charters’. EC President @vonderleyen, what's holding the @EU_Commission back from taking action? @helenadalli @VeraJourova pic.twitter.com/hl3AuRDGtP
— Volt Europa (@VoltEuropa) February 11, 2021
The complaint sets out how these declarations introduce discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and thus breach the European Council Directive (2000/78/EC), establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights Article 15 on Freedom to choose an occupation and right to engage in work, and Article 21 on non-discrimination.
This morning, February 11, as the current KPH campaign draws to an end, thousands created a Twitter storm which saw the KPH campaign hashtag #infringementNow trending in Belgium, asking why the commission has not taken infringement procedures against Poland yet.
Time 4 #infringementNOW against Poland 4 violating fundamental rights of #EU citizens & disregarding EU treaties with so-called ‘#LGBT-Free Zones’ & ‘Family Charters’. EC President @vonderleyen, what's holding the @EU_Commission back from taking action? @helenadalli @VeraJourova pic.twitter.com/QoIzVb7rRP
— ILGA-Europe (@ILGAEurope) February 11, 2021
Meanwhile, a women’s rights activist in Poland has been charged for her role in the Polish Women’s Strike movement.
Marta Lempart told The Associated Press on Thursday that she was formally read the charges at the district prosecutor´s office in Warsaw on Wednesday.
Lempart is being charged with insulting a police officer and causing an epidemiological threat for organising protests during the pandemic.
She also faces charges of “praising church vandalism” after she made favourable comments about spray paint on a church facade when she appeared in a radio interview.
As the political landscape in Poland grows ever more conservative and hostile in nature, communities in Ireland are responding with actions of solidarity. In recent months, Fermoy, Co. Cork, severed ties with its Polish twin town, Nowa Dęba, in opposition to Polish areas claiming to be an ‘LGBT free’ zone.
Following the impact of it’s ‘LGBT-free’ zone status on the town’s image, officials rescinded the declaration earlier this month.
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