Poland’s ‘LGBTQ+ restricted zones’


Source: CNN

In 2019, the Bielsko county in Poland — which includes dozens of different towns and villages, but not Bielsko-Biala — passed a resolution supporting “traditional family values” and rejecting the LGBTQ+ community for “undermining the concept of a family model”.


An idea from the resolution reads as, “We encourage young people to start families which are by their essence a natural environment for self-realization.”


The resolution makes sure to emphasize how families are “shaped by the centuries-old heritage of Christianity” and this is very crucial to the development of their homeland.


Already, hundreds of regions across Poland which covers about a third of the country, and more than 10 million citizens have transformed themselves into “LGBT-free zones.”

Source: Atlas of Hate, local government documents. Graphic: Renée Rigdon

In Swidnik, a small town near the Ukrainian border, councilors said that those part of the LGBTQ+ community are “radical people striving for a cultural revolution,” and accused them of wanting to “attack freedom of speech [and] the innocence of children”.


In Nowa Sarzyna, another eastern town, homosexuality was yet again identified as “against the laws of nature” and a violation of “human dignity.” And in the Lublin province, which is home to more than 2 million citizens, LGBT rights campaigners were strongly criticized by local lawmakers for wishing for “the annihilation of values shaped by the Catholic church”.


At least six towns have lost money from the EU over their acceptance of "LGBT-free" bills. The ruling Law and Justice Party have rejected the "LGBT-free" description as there has been global condemnation of it. For example, the US presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has outwardly criticized these areas of Poland last month, which made one Polish lawmaker argue that it was an LGBT activist who had used the label of “LGBT-free” and that he would stand trial for doing so.


“The interest of communities [is] not to protect romantic, emotional relationships, but the relationships that are fruitful,” Nikodem Bernaciak, an attorney whose firm wrote a template for an “LGBT-free” resolution, as said in a phone interview with CNN. His group, the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture, is despised by many Polish LGBT activists for its role in generating a backlash against LGBT rights.


In criticizing LGBTQ+ relationships, Bernaciak said that, “Informal relationships are not as strong as marriage, so the state chooses the kind of relationship that is more helpful.”


“The family needs to be protected against all kinds of threats,” Bernaciak says, explaining the basis of his group’s resolution. He mentioned that the wording is constantly misinterpreted and that it is actually “positive” and does not mention LGBT people specifically, which is just an attempt to lessen legal challenges.



Link to CNN's article: https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/10/world/lgbt-free-poland-intl-scli-cnnphotos/index.html

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