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Photo: Andrew J Kurbiko.
International, News

Ambassadors demand end to Poland anti-LGBTIQ discrimination

Diplomats from countries around the world have called on Poland to stop its campaign of discrimination against the LGBTIQ community.

Australian Ambassador to Poland Lloyd Brodrick has joined almost 50 others in signing an open letter to the Polish government, demanding an end to attacks on LGBTIQ rights.

“Human rights are universal and everyone, including [LGBTIQ] persons, are entitled to their full enjoyment,” the ambassadors wrote.

“This is something everyone should support.

“We affirm the inherent dignity of each individual as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Respect for these fundamental rights… obliges governments to protect all citizens from violence and discrimination and to ensure they enjoy equal opportunities.

“To shield communities in need of protection from verbal and physical abuse and hate speech, we need to jointly work on an environment of non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual acceptance.

“This includes in particular sectors such as education, health, social affairs, citizenship, public service and public documents.”

Anti-LGBTIQ sentiment has been on the rise in Poland, with a third of the country declaring “LGBT-free zones” earlier this year.

The European Parliament has recently called on Poland to “firmly condemn” the persecution of LGBTIQ people by its local governments.

It has described the laws as part of “a broader context of attacks against the [LGBTIQ] community in Poland, which include growing hate speech by public and elected officials and public media, as well as attacks and bans on Pride marches and actions such as Rainbow Friday”.

LGBTIQ people in the country are generally unprotected by anti-discrimination or hate crime laws.

Same-sex marriage and civil unions are not recognised, and public support for marriage equality is low, at 30% in 2017.

The ruling Law and Justice Party has rejected demands from the European Parliament to stop its increasing homophobic rhetoric.

This week’s open letter from ambassadors around the world has called for efforts to “end discrimination in particular on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity”.

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