Initiative plans demo ban: Poland’s LGBT movement fears for their rights

Initiative plans demo ban
Poland’s LGBT movement fears for their rights

An ultra-conservative foundation wants to ensure that lesbians and gays in Poland are no longer allowed to demonstrate for their concerns. During the discussion of the legislative initiative in parliament, hair-raising Nazi comparisons were made. In Warsaw, a crowd shows what they think of the proposal.

Hundreds of people protested in Poland’s capital Warsaw against a planned ban on demonstrations for lesbians and gays. At least 300 people gathered in front of parliament on Thursday evening, according to the daily newspaper “Gazeta Wyborcza”. Many participants waved rainbow flags. On banners it said, for example, “Love knows no gender”. Late in the evening, Parliament held a first reading on the proposed law. There were also supporters of the design in front of the building. The police separated the two sides.

Specifically, the law is intended to prohibit demonstrators from questioning marriage between men and women and demanding that it be extended to people of the same sex. In addition, according to the draft, demonstrations should not be used to promote the adoption of children by homosexual couples and “a sexual orientation other than heterosexual”. This proposal is aimed primarily at the Pride parade and other demonstrations by the LGBT community. The abbreviation stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“LGBT begins its march to power like the NSDAP began its march to power in the 1930s,” said Krzysztof Kacprzak, who presented the law project to parliament for the Life and Family Foundation. She had collected the 140,000 signatures required for this in advance. “The LGBT movement wants to introduce terror. We see that in the West.” Kacprzak’s explanations were interrupted by heckling such as “Hate language!” and laughter from the opposition.

EU pressure is working

It is still unclear whether the initiative will come through parliament. Adoption could mean a new confrontation between Poland and the EU. The human rights organization Amnesty International appealed to MPs not to agree. You should acknowledge “that love is love”. This proposal is hateful, discriminatory and restricts people’s right to peaceful protest. “Such restrictions are not acceptable.”

Many politicians from Poland’s national-conservative ruling party PiS are openly campaigning against the LGBT community. Almost a hundred cities and regions have declared themselves “LGBT ideology-free” zones. Most of them are in the strongly Catholic east and south of the country. Recently, several regions revoked this status after the EU Commission suspended negotiations on regional funding.

In Hungary, a new law has been in effect since June, according to which children are not allowed to have access to information about non-heterosexual lifestyles – be it in school lessons or through publications. In addition, advertising that portrays homosexuals or transsexuals as part of normalcy is prohibited. The EU Commission has therefore initiated infringement proceedings against Hungary.

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