Three regional councils in Poland have this month repealed their “LGBT-free zone” laws, amid the threat of international sanctions.
The Podkarpackie, Lubelskie, and Małopolskie regions voted to repeal the laws, which were intended to “protect heterosexual family values” in the country.
“A special need [exists] to protect schools and families and the right of every person to self-determination,” said a new government resolution, according to The Organization for World Peace.
“At the same time, we support the right of parents to raise their children according to their beliefs.”
Government bans on “propaganda”, denying assistance to organisations that assist LGBTIQ people, and other attacks on the community have among escalating threats to LGBTIQ rights in Poland over recent years.
Poland has become a “laughingstock”, and the European Parliament has called on Poland to condemn the persecution of LGBTIQ people by local governments.
Among other international sanctions, Norway has said it will not provide funding to any of the “LGBT-free” towns, after promising almost $10 million for development projects.
Local queer activists suspect that the change also reflects a cynical grab for progressive votes ahead of the 2023 parliamentary elections.
“Politicians are playing with us,” said activist Bart Staszewski.
“I mean they don’t want to revoke the whole resolution, they just want to replace it with another one.”
Government homophobia has continued, with a politician from Poland’s conservative ruling party forced to donate to his city’s LGBT parade after being sued for accusing it of promoting paedophilia.
Tomasz Pitucha appealed against his conviction for defamation, Notes from Poland has reported.
The appeal was rejected, and he was ordered to pay €1,090 to the parade organisers.
“I do not change my opinion as to the harmfulness of the marches… especially for young people,” said Pitucha.
“Perhaps one has to lose many trials to stop this evil that is happening through the promotion of homosexuality in Poland.”