Polish president, Andrzej Duda has said he would consider supporting legislation that would ban ‘homosexual propaganda’ in schools and youth organisations.
In an interview with Nasz Dziennik, a Polish newspaper, Andrzej Duda said:
“I think that this kind of propaganda should not take place in schools, it has to be calmly and consistently opposed.”
“If such a law was created and would be well written, I would not rule out approaching it seriously.”
The president’s comments came in response to two recent demonstrations of support for LGBT+ children in Poland. An informal event – ‘Rainbow Friday’ – saw a number of students wear the colours of the rainbow to school to celebrate Poland’s LGBT+ community on October 26. Government officials had officially banned the event, but students participated nevertheless.
Additionally, the Polish Scouting Association released a statement in support of its LGBT+ members. In May, the co-ed organisation said:
“Dignity and human value are not dependent on one’s sexual orientation. As scouts, we have a duty to respect persons who are homosexual or bisexual, and such people are also involved in the scout movement. We should oppose hatred and contempt for them because our task is to see the neighbour in everybody.”
Political analysts have likened the Polish president’s comments on ‘homosexual propaganda’ to the legislation of neighbouring Russia. In 2013, Russian president Vladimir Putin imposed a law banning expressions of support for LGBT+ people. Russians found guilty of spreading ‘homosexual propaganda’ may face fines or even imprisonment.
While discrimination laws in Poland offer some legal protection to LGBT+ people, a number of legal and societal barriers infringe upon the rights of the Polish LGBT+ community. Same-sex marriage is not recognised in the country, and the influence of the Catholic Church contributes to rising levels of anti-LGBT+ rhetoric. Indeed, the Polish president cited his Catholic faith as grounds for the proposed ban on ‘homosexual propaganda’.
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