The re-election of Andrzej Duda in Poland signals a turn for the worse for LGBT people in Poland.
Throughout his re-election campaign, Duda has put forward a broad anti-LGBT agenda that threatens the rights and safety of all lesbian, gay, bi and trans Poles. Not only has he called LGBT rights an ‘ideology’ more destructive than communism, he signed a ‘family values’ declaration that would ban any mention of LGBT people in schools, along with a promise that same-sex couples would never be allowed to marry or adopt children.
The message from Duda is clear: his Government does not value LGBT rights and will not protect LGBT people from discrimination and abuse. Since the introduction of ‘LGBT-free zones’ in some Polish municipalities, there’s been a rise in hate and violence against LGBT communities in Poland. Many fear that attacks will increase, and the Government will usher in more changes that target and threaten LGBT communities.
Duda’s anti-diversity rhetoric follows the swing towards extreme politics that we’ve seen get an increasingly prominent platform in other countries, where world leaders encourage prejudice and division based on people’s identities. While we may not be directly affected here in the UK by these dangerous policies and divisive rhetoric, we cannot be complacent: when our LGBT siblings are attacked in another country, it shows how fragile our own equality is.
It’s important that we stand in solidarity with LGBT people in Poland and remind ourselves that the progress we’ve made towards equality is never secure. If you want to show our Polish LGBT siblings that you care about them, you can join All Out’s campaign to appeal to the European Commissioner about what’s happening, support organisations on the ground like Kampania Przeciw Homofobii or get involved with ILGA-Europe’s action against the ‘LGBT-free zones’.
Andrzej Duda’s re-election sounds an alarm for us to come together as a global community and show why LGBT equality needs to be something that matters to everyone. Together, we are stronger than any hate that might try to divide us.