The Polish President’s instrumentalization of LGBTI persons is a cheap attempt at political gain ahead of elections

Brussels, 17 June 2020

PRESS RELEASE

On 10 June 2020, Polish President Andrzej Duda, candidate for re-election in the upcoming Presidential elections, scheduled for 28 June 2020, signed a Family Charter. The Charter included election pledges regarding, among others, the protection of children from “LGBT ideology” and a ban on “propagation of LGBT ideology in public institutions”. During a speech over the previous weekend, the President further referred to “LGBT ideology”, claiming it was worse than communism.[1] These moves follow the self-declarations of dozens of municipal and local authorities as “LGBTI-free zones” and the adoption of Family Charters by local administrations which proclaim to advocate for “family rights”.

In December 2019, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on public discrimination and LGBTI-free zones, in which it strongly condemned any discrimination against LGBTI people and their fundamental rights by public authorities, including hate speech by public authorities and elected officials, in the context of elections, as well as the declarations of zones in Poland free from so-called ‘LGBT ideology’, which openly discriminate against LGBTI persons.[2]

It is distressing to see the Polish president joining the herd who has endlessly scapegoated LGBTI persons for the sake of holding onto power and galvanizing political support based on hatred. This is not unprecedented and it’s not new – it is a syndrome of the backlash that minority groups in Europe have been facing in the last decade and a consequence of the continued complacency of Polish authorities towards it. It is unacceptable to have a President of a member state of the EU acting in complete violation of the treaties and the values on which the European Union is founded and disregarding the fundamental rights of our citizens.

Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup

There is no excuse whatsoever for a political figure of any country to use anti-LGBTI rhetoric for political gain. This is clearly intended to divide the electorate by instrumentalising hatred against sexual and gender diversity. Poland is and remains a Member State of the EU and of the Council of Europe and has vowed to uphold both the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. Being LGBTI has nothing to do with ideology. Yet, discriminating someone for being LGBTI is an utter disrespect of the right to be free from discrimination and the values of tolerance and equality, which any EU country must uphold. These attacks lambasting the LGBTI community are unacceptable.

Marc Angel MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup

[1] BBC News, “Polish election: Andrzej Duda says LGBT ‘ideology’ worse than communism” (14 June 2020), accessible on https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53039864; Euronews, LGBT campaigners denounce President Duda’s comments on “communism”” (16 June 2020), accessible on https://www.euronews.com/2020/06/15/polish-president-says-lgbt-ideology-is-worse-than-communism.

[2] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/B-9-2019-0234_EN.html


Press contacts:

Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP – Francesca Acampora (Francesca.Acampora@europarl.europa.eu)

Marc Angel MEP – Lisa Kersch (Lisa.Kersch@europarl.europa.eu)

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