Polish town yields to EU threat about LGBT free zones


Central Europe


A picture taken on July 24, 2019 in Warsaw shows a sticker bearing a large black cross over an LGBT+ rainbow motif and reading "This is an LGBT-free zone". Photo AFP, Janek Skarzynski

Świdnik, a town in Eastern Poland, gives in to the demands of the European Union to abolish LGBT-free zones. It does so because it fears losing millions of euros from EU subsidies.

Four years ago, Świdnik was one of the first places in Poland to embrace the policy of LGBT-free zones. In 2019, it passed a resolution to "stop LGBT ideology and fight homo propaganda." It has now made a 180-degree turn by replacing the policy with a document expressing opposition to discrimination, including against sexual minorities. That is reported by Notes from Poland.

In November 2021, the town council removed the phrase from the law that explicitly mentioned the LGBT community. At the end of December, the council decided to approve a new declaration "on the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms."


The document reads that the "dignity of every human being is an inalienable value subject to special protection" and speaks out against "all forms of discrimination based on sex, race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation", among other things.

The city council decided to do so because they feared they would not receive European funds. The European Union has severely criticised Poland's conservative policies regarding the LGBT community. In 2021, the town already lost 40 million zloty from Norwegian funds. The Norwegian government pledged not to grant money to Polish towns that implemented anti-LGBT laws. The European Union threatened to take similar steps.

The new legislation overrules all earlier made legislation that aimed at preventing "LGBT propaganda" from spreading among the Polish population.



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