Local governments across Poland have declared their village or regional assembly free of “LGBT+ ideology”. In a country heavily swayed by the doctrine of the Catholic Church, the declaration signals a dangerous yet baffling power move to continue suppressing the LGBT+ community.
The term LGBT+ ideology is peculiar because it is difficult to pinpoint what it means. It appears to be used as an umbrella term to signal anything or anyone who is outside of the strict heteronormative lifestyle. Though the wording could be considered nonsensical, the intent behind it is sinister.
Attacks against the LGBT+ community in Poland erupted to the surface following Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski signing an anti-discrimination proclamation in February. Following the signing, there was a barrage of actions and comments aimed at the LGBT+ community. In April, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s Law and Justice party, spoke about how LGBT+ ideologies were a threat to the family structure.
*“We are dealing with a direct attack on the family (and) on children: this sexualizing, the LGBT+ movement, everything together with gender (theory), this whole movement questioning every kind of affiliation,” said Jaroslaw.
LGBT+ rights were at the forefront of Jaroslaw’s reelection campaign. He was one of the leading members who cast Poland into a “culture war”, as termed by Dr Jacek Kucharczyk, president of Poland’s Institute of Public Affair’s Think Tank. Jaroslaw stated that the LGBT+ community and movement was imported into Poland from the West.
Ikea has recently come under attack in Poland after firing an employee who refused to remove homophobic comments made on his internal computer network. The man made the comments in retaliation against Ikea encouraging their employees to engage with LGBT+ customers, such as finding out the right pronouns, and to show support on the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on May 16.
While some Polish parties such as the Law and Justice Party have become more blatant in their attacks against LGBT+. people and those local governments have declared themselves free of LGBT+ ideology, many LGBT+ people are still living in these communities. Removing the ideology will not erase their existence.
*Translated from Polish.
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