Polish politicians form a rainbow display of LGBT+ solidarity at Duda's presidential swearing-in ceremony

After a close presidential race, Duda was elected into office and left-wing politicians came dressed in queer solidarity for his swearing-in ceremony.

Image: @KancelariaSejmu

Polish politicians from the Left Alliance organised a protest against the homophobic policies of Andrzef Duda with a powerful display of rainbows at his presidential swearing-in ceremony. 

On Thursday, August 6, MPs attended the swearing-in ceremony wearing Pride-themed face masks and colourful clothes to form a rainbow display of protest. On Twitter, a politician from Razen, Magda Biejat, stated, “The President of Poland should defend the rights of all citizens.”

In July, Duda was re-elected following a close presidential race against liberal politician Rafał Trzaskowski. He won by 51.2% of the vote in contrast to his opponent receiving 48.8%. 

Duda’s campaign for re-election was founded upon deeply discriminatory policies which will strip LGBT+ people of their rights within Poland. During his presidential race, he labelled queer identities as an “ideology” more dangerous than communism as well as signing in a declaration barring same-sex marriage and disallowing LGBT+ people to adopt children.

Following his reelection, many LGBT+ people in Poland have been left fearing for their safety and forced to leave the country. One queer person shared, “Like where’s the line? Is there a line they are not going to cross? I don’t know.”

The person further stated, “This time, people are not looking for better paid jobs, but they are looking for dignity and respect. People want to feel that they are protected by the government and not treated as an enemy.”

Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, Polish police arrested three activists for draping rainbow flags over several statues in Warsaw last week. They were charged for desecrating monuments and offending religious feelings, which is punishable by a fine or up to two years in prison.

Against a troubling rise in anti-LGBT+ politics, MPs boldly standing against the drab attire of other lawmakers at the swearing-in ceremony of Duda conveys a much needed message to the queer community in Poland. As one person shared, “The kind of solidarity we need after a campaign of hate, thank you! Rainbow is not an offence.”

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