Rafał Trzaskowski, the Mayor of Poland’s capital city, Warsaw, has received backlash after signing a declaration to protect LGBT+ rights.
The declaration is the first ever LGBT+ declaration to be signed in central-eastern Europe, and the first document to officially recognise LGBT+ rights in Poland.
The declaration signed by Trzaskowski is said to guarantee the basic needs of Warsaw’s LGBT+ community, and enable local administrations to provide what the Polish government refuse to put into practice, according to Gay Star News.
The declaration includes the promise of an LGBT+ hostel and community centre, a local crisis intervention system, and aims to provide access to anti-discrimination and sex education at city schools.
A spokesperson for Love Does not Exclude, Oktawiusz Chrzanowsk, is quoted by GSN as saying: “Aside from implementing specific solutions to the issues of our community, today is about joy and pride about living in Warsaw which is becoming a Rainbow City and a beacon for the region.
“We can hope for a safer environment for us and our partners, friends, and families.”
Shortly after the mayor signed the declaration, Trzaskowski received backlash from right-wing and anti-LGBT+ groups who claim the LGBT+ community are being given special treatment.
Those opposed also claim that LGBT+ people are a threat to society due to “high HIV infection rates,” and the head of the Regional Education Board in the city of Krakow has labelled the LGBT+ education initiative as “promoting paedophilia.”
Hubert Sobecki from Love Does not Exclude responded to the backlash, saying: “Rhetorics of this kind are nothing new to us.
“The goal of the right-wing media and activists is to cause a chilling effect, blocking implementation of the Declaration and stopping us from repeating our success in other cities – We won’t yield to this hate.”
“The sea of hate could take over but after signing the LGBT+ declaration we achieved broke records.”
— Rafał Trzaskowski
Mayor Trzaskowski added: “The sea of hate could take over but after signing the LGBT+ declaration we achieved broke records.”
Love Does Not Exclude have encouraged people to write to the mayor to show their support of the declaration.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “We know they are currently being flooded by homophobic rants and we need to show that there’s a need for basic protection in this city.”