Earlier in the month, the French community of Saint-Jean-de-Brave announced their decision to condemn their Polish sister town of Tuchow because of their “LGBT+ free ideology”. Speaking on the decision to sever ties between the twin cities, the sister municipality in central France explained the move saying:
“France is committed to combating human rights violations based on sexual orientation. We cannot accept that the ties that unite our two cities by a twinning oath be tainted. We condemn the position taken by our twin city of Tuchow.” Now, a Polish mayor, Wlodawa Mayor Wieslaw Muszynski, is attempting to rekindle the lost connection between the town cities.
The mayor offered a new “twinning agreement” between the two cities to replace the one that Saint-Jean-de-Braye has currently suspended between their community and the Polish town of Tuchow. In a letter to the French municipality of Saint-Jean-de-Braye, Mayor Wieslaw Muszynski argued that the vast majority of Poles are “open and respectful people” despite the homophobic “LGBT+ free zones” that are being imposed in communities like Tuchow.
In a letter posted online late last Wednesday, the mayor explained that “not all towns are homophobic” and that “as a Pole and a European” he wanted to erase the impression that Poland is unwelcoming and unsafe for LGBT+ people. He said that it was this “impression” that prompted the French town to disassociate themselves from their 25 year long official ties with Tuchow.
Although Wlodawa in eastern Poland, a municipality since the 16th century, located along the border with Ukraine and Belarus and has a long tradition of tolerance and cultural inclusiveness, many other towns like Tuchow also introduced these areas “free of LGBT+ ideology” or “LGBT+ free zones”. The zones are supposedly enforced to ensure people can defend themselves from “radicals … who attack freedom of speech, childhood innocence, the authority of family and school and the freedom of businesspeople.”
Although many have denounced these zones, they are still very much in action across Poland, and indeed in Tuchow. Despite Mayor Wieslaw Muszynskis’ efforts to reconnect the two European twin cities through this recently published letter, it is still unclear whether or not the French town of Saint-Jean-de-Brave will be able to look past the anti-LGBT+ declaration in the region.
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