Polish repeal of anti-LGBT resolutions begins
As the European Union threatens to withdraw funding, the Polish repeal of anti-LGBT resolutions has begun with a number of regional councils in Poland retreating from their earlier position.
These largely symbolic resolutions had declared their regions as “LGBT-free zones” as part of a conflict between liberals and religious conservatives in the predominantly Catholic country.
According to the Polish Press Agency, the latest areas that had voted to repeal these were the southeasterly Podkarpackie and Lubelskie provinces, as well as the southerly Malopolskie province.
Polish repeal allows tolerance and protection of rights
A resolution in Podkarpackie entitled “Podkarpackie as a region of well-established tolerance” was passed, as well as a resolution in Lubelskie entitled, “On the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.”
The Lubelskie motion noted that, “We see a special need to protect schools and families and the right of every person to self-determination.”
“At the same time, we support the right of parents to raise their children according to their beliefs,” it said.
There were nearly a hundred municipalities and provinces that adopted resolutions declaring their areas as free of the “LGBT ideology” in 2019.
However, the European Commission warned that these “LGBT-free zones” may violate EU law on non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.
The government reversal and the first of the Polish repeal
Because of these resolutions, the EU Parliament passed their own resolution declaring the entire 27-member EU a “freedom zone” for LGBT people.
The European Commission spoke to the five Polish regions even as the Polish government also asked local authorities to revoke the anti-LGBT resolutions.
The largely conservative government’s appeal came in the wake of the EU’s action to hold millions of funding amounting to more than EU€2.5 billion or US$3 billion to the regions.
The Swietokrzyskie region in southern Poland was the first to vote to repeal their motion. The resolution stated that Poland’s Constitution provides “a guarantee of equality and fair treatment for all.”
The liberal newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza said the region’s action was “a good day in the fight against discrimination.”
2023 European Games threatened by anti-LGBT resolution
Meanwhile, Małopolska– which includes the 2023 European Games host city Kraków– also scrapped the resolution as they need EU funding to prepare for the games.
Earlier, they had voted down the motion to remove the resolution. They later voted in favor of an alternative resolution that would “oppose any discrimination against anyone for any reason.”
Poland is supposed to be the third host of the Games scheduled for 2023 after the Małopolska region was the only bidder. The first Games was in Baku in 2015 and the second was in Minsk in 2019.
However, Polish officials haven’t signed the host city contract with the European Olympic Committee yet.
Last October, the Committee said the rights of participants at the Games would be respected. They also declared that there will be “no discrimination of any kind.”