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Pride in London calls on government to take urgent action on Poland’s ‘LGBT-free’ zones

Emma Powys Maurice March 17, 2020
Pride in London urges government to speak out against 'LGBT-free' Poland

The red area shows the municipalities in Poland that have signed the 'LGBT-free' pledge. (Atlas of Hate)

Pride in London is calling on the foreign secretary Dominic Raab to intervene urgently on the continued violation of LGBT+ rights in Poland.

A third of Poland has declared itself to be an official “LGBT-free” zone after more than 100 local municipalities signed a pledge adopting resolutions against “LGBT propaganda”. In total, it covers an area greater than the size of Hungary.

Local authorities in these areas vow to refrain from acts that encourage tolerance and must avoid providing financial assistance to NGOs who are working to promote equal rights.

The move was strongly condemned by the the European Parliament and by LGBT+ advocates around the world. Now the UK’s largest Pride parade has joined the calls in protest, urging Raab to raise the issue with Poland’s UK ambassador, Arkady Rzegocki, as a matter of urgency.

Michael Salter-Church MBE, co-chair of Pride in London, said: “Fifty years on from brave activists taking a stand at Stonewall, the appalling situation in Poland clearly shows that the fight isn’t over.

“While we remain focused on furthering LGBT+ rights in the UK, we mustn’t forget those abroad who need our support. We must take a stand for our community in countries where their fundamental human rights are not being upheld.”

He announced that Pride in London has made a donation to support LGBT+ activists and communities in Poland through the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) Emergency Fund.

“This emergency fund will help our siblings in Poland continue their vital work towards equality, and we urge members of the LGBT+ community to donate however they can.

“Beyond this, we must also continue to speak out in order to raise awareness of these shocking events – we have already seen how international attention can often disrupt the violent plans of Poland’s far-right nationalists.”

As well as this, Pride in London has joined EOPA and several other European Pride organisations to develop an ‘action plan’ with Polish counterparts aimed at strengthening ties with LGBT+ communities in Poland and providing strategic and operational advice.

More: Dominic Raab, Europe, Foreign Secretary, LGBT-free zones, Poland, Pride in London

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