77% of Polish people living in Ireland voted against homophobic new President, Andrzej Duda

Duda won by a slim margin, but those who could avail of a postal vote in Ireland overwhelmingly supported his more liberal rival.

Andrzej Duda, a middle aged smiling man being elected President surrounded by supporters

The news that openly homophobic Andrzej Duda was elected as Poland’s President in a closely won contest has left the LGBT+ community and its allies deeply worried about what lies ahead.

Duda received 51.2% of the vote while his more liberal opponent, Rafał Trzaskowski, took in 48.8%. Statistics showed that older and more rural voters reelected Andrzej Duda, while those under 50 plumped for Rafał Trzaskowski.

What the result will mean for LGBT+ people living in Poland is concerning considering Duda ran on a deeply homophobic platform. Aside from calling LGBT+ rights an “ideology” more dangerous than communism, he also signed in a declaration barring same-sex marriage and disallowing LGBT+ people to adopt children. The declaration also blocks any mention of LGBT+ people in schools. At one stage, the European Union warned Poland that it might cut its pandemic relief funding due to the anti-LGBT+ discrimination in the country.

The Polish embassy in Ireland stated that 77% of Polish people living in this country who submitted a postal vote in the election were in favour of Trzaskowski becoming President. This sway toward the more liberal candidate was reflected across the world as data showed the majority of postal votes were in his favour.

With such a feeling of worry, what, if anything, can people do to support the Polish LGBT+ community? A current All Out petition is asking people to add their names to a call for support from the European Union. It reads, “Since 2019, around 100 Polish municipalities have declared themselves ‘LGBT-free zones,’ a newspaper distributed stickers with the same inflammatory slogan and a crossed-out Pride flag, and participants at a Pride march in the city of Białystok were attacked with stones and bottles by nationalists and far-right groups.

“Polish LGBT+ people are determined to fight back against the hate, but they need your help. Show your solidarity by asking the European Union for support.”

The petition has so far been signed by a quarter of a million people.

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