Polish region votes to remain 'LGBT Free Zone' despite EU threat to cut funds

The Malopolska region have already received a warning letter saying they could be denied over €2.5 billion in EU funds.

The Polish flag flying

The council in the Polish region of Malopolska have voted to reaffirm their stance as an ‘LGBT free zone’ in spite of the EU launching legal action against Poland and threatening to cut future funding.

A letter from the EU warned that if the ‘LGBT free zone’ declaration was not revoked by mid September, the Polish region would lose out on €2.5 billion in funding.

Late last week, the council voted on an opposition motion to revoke the resolution, which had been made in 2019, but it was rejected, led by the votes of the Law and Justice (PiS) ruling party representatives.

Council leader, Jan Duda, who is also the father of the current Polish President, declared, “We cannot simply deny what was said in 2019,” while at the same time insisting their stance was misunderstood – that it was against “LGBT ideology” and the promotion of homosexuality, rather than LGBTQ+ people themselves.

Following the council’s decision, Robert Biedron, the openly gay leader of left-wing political party Spring, said, “Once again, the hatred and anger of PiS turned out to be more important than the good of citizens, and they will suffer the most from this decision.”

In July, the EU announced it would take legal action against both Poland and Hungary for their anti-LGBTQ+ actions. In the case of Poland, the statement explained:

“From 2019, several Polish municipalities and regions adopted resolutions on the creation of so-called ‘LGBT-ideology free zones’. The Commission is concerned that these declarations may violate EU law regarding non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. It is therefore necessary to carry out a detailed analysis of the compatibility of the resolutions with EU law…

“Despite a clear call by the Commission in February, to date Polish authorities have failed to provide the requested information, manifestly omitting to answer most of the Commission’s requests. Poland is thus hampering the Commission’s ability to exercise its powers vested under the Treaties and failing to comply with the principle of sincere cooperation.”

The EU statement continued, “Europe will never allow parts of our society to be stigmatised: be it because of whom they love, because of their age, their ethnicity, their political opinions, or their religious beliefs.”

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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