Poland could be about to criminalise sex education and denounce teachers as paedophiles and ‘gay activists’
Poland is preparing to vote on a new law that would criminalise sex education and denounce those who teach it as paedophiles and LGBT+ activists.
The ‘Stop Paedophilia’ bill initiated by citizens would jail people who “promote underage sex” in schools for up to three years.
Its authors justify it with the claim that those who teach sex education are often people who “groom and familiarise children with homosexuality”.
“The organisations and activists most involved in the promotion of sexual ‘education’ in our country are the LGBT+ lobby,” the bill’s backers said in a document sent to parliament.
“In Western Europe, members of these movements involved in implementing sex education in schools were convicted of paedophilia.”
They further claim that “children are sexually awakened and familiarised with homosexuality” during sex education lessons, which are used “by the LGBT+ lobby to achieve radical political goals”, including legalising adoption by LGBT+ couples.
The equation of homosexuality with paedophilia is deeply concerning to Polish LGBT+ activists, who also worry that those who teach about sexual orientation, discrimination and reproductive health could also be prosecuted under the law.
“This would make impossible for us as educators to come into schools and teach kids about humans, about what makes us us, and what’s gender identity or sexual orientation,” Ola Kaczorek, an LGBT+ advocate, told Reuters.
“Usually school is not a friendly environment for non-heterosexual kids, but now it will be even harder.”
The controversial bill, which has been formally condemned by the EU, was brought before parliament after a constitutional petition signed by over 250,000 citizens.
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Lawmakers will vote today whether to reject the bill, send it to a parliamentary commission for further work, or take it forwards to a second reading for further debate.
It comes in the wake of a key court ruling that sided with a prominent anti-LGBT+ advertising campaign linking homosexuality with paedophilia.
“Paedophilia is 20 times more common in homosexuals,” the ads claimed. “They want to teach your children. Stop them!”
In its judgment, the court dismissed a lawsuit against the campaign because its message was “informative and educational”.
It is reflective of a worrying upswing in anti-LGBT+ sentiment in Poland that has seen over a third of the country pledging to become an ‘LGBT-free’ zone.
The intolerance is driven largely by the ruling party PiS, which has frequently targeted LGBT+ rights as an invasive foreign influence that threatens the country’s national identity.
The party previously condemned plans to teach a World Health Organisation-approved sex education program which was inclusive of LGBT+ identities, calling it “an infringement of traditional Catholic values”.