Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield has voiced his opposition to ‘LGBT-free Zone’ towns and concerns for the safety of LGBT+ people in Poland with the Polish Ambassador to Ireland.
While speaking with the Polish Ambassador to Ireland, Anna Sochańska, Senator Fintan Warfield expressed his “horror and alarm” to discriminatory policies endangering the queer community in Poland. He spoke about his concerns regarding the recent reelection campaign and towns declaring themselves ‘LGBT-free Zones’.
In a released statement, Warfield said, “I expressed my concern for the safety of LGBTI people and their allies in these regions and for anyone who might be perceived as different. I stressed that this could be seen as a precedent and sought assurances that there would be no acceleration of similar moves.”
Sinn Féin Senator @fintanwarfield has met with the Polish Ambassador to Ireland today to discuss LGBTI rights in Poland and express opposition to so-called ‘LGBTI-free zones’ in parts of the country. https://t.co/K8xdO91sX3 pic.twitter.com/AaK6O0mJ5B
— Sinn Féin LGBT (@sinnfeinlgbt) August 27, 2020
“We agreed that dialogue between representatives in Ireland and Poland needs to take place in order for all parties to clearly understand their respective positions. I was happy that the Ambassador is willing to help facilitate such dialogue with Polish parliamentarians,” Warfield continued.
The Sinn Féin Senator called on Irish towns and cities twinning with Polish ones to commence an open dialogue with those areas who have declared themselves ‘LGBT-Free Zones’. The European Commission has recently denied community funding from the ‘twinning programme’ to six towns in Poland for their discriminatory policies.
In March 2020, Fermoy, Co. Cork threatened to sever ties with their twin town in Poland due to hostile attitudes towards the queer community. Councillor Noel McCarthy said, “If [the council of Nowa Deba] don’t reply positively then we [Fermoy] will immediately terminate the twinning arrangement, which our municipal district council funds.”
Following a reelection campaign spearheaded by anti-LGBT+ policies, the Polish queer community are facing an unsafe environment, as many activists have been arrested for speaking out against discrimination.
Warfield stated, “I think it is imperative that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, meets with Ambassador Sochańska to outline the government’s position and that he urgently raises the issue with his fellow European Foreign Ministers.”
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