The modern problems of LGBTQ+ people are commonly known worldwide. However, it is surprising that the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community are so stark in a country at the heart of Europe and one that was once one of the most important members of the EU. So, let’s talk about the lives of LGBTQ+ members in Poland!
Starting off with some political background: the LGBTQ+ community has always been a major problem for the Polish ruling party (Law and Justice party) as they describe themselves as conservative and Catholic. Since the start of their rule in 2015, they have been continuously fighting with homosexual people to take away their rights and, as the President Andrzej Duda stated in one of his speeches, “the LGBTQ+ community is an ‘ideology’ and ‘do not deserve basic human rights’.
In 2019, the issues of this community became even more serious with around 100 towns and regions across Poland (nearly a third of the country) passing resolutions declaring themselves as zones free of “LGBTQ+ Ideology”.
Unfortunately, the Polish Government is in favour of such an idea and supports them completely. In addition, a lot of conservatives and rightist magazines and newspapers started the production of stickers promoting the anti-LGBTQ+ zones. However, after some time they stopped this horrendous free give away after being sued by LGBTQ+ members and LGBTQ+ activists.
The Polish LGBTQ+ community is fighting for their rights despite plenty of inconveniences thrown at them by the government. For a brief example, on 19th October Przemyslaw Czarnek was chosen by the government to take up the role of Education Minister. This person is clearly driven by homophobia and his strong Catholic beliefs. During his short time as Education Minister, he has already been very controversial, repeatedly saying that homosexuality is ‘simply pedophilia’ and it ‘should be illegal’. He even goes as far as saying that LGBTQ+ people are not equal to “normal” people. Unfortunately, homosexuality is not the only field of his unusual views. In some of his speeches, he mentioned that child abuse is allowed by Polish constitution as long as it is a ‘method of raising children’. As many would agree, this member of the party should have no ruling position, as many of his beliefs hold the potential for serious consequences.