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Boris Johnson just congratulated Poland’s hateful, homophobic president and people were quick to point out the obvious

Josh Milton July 14, 2020
Andrzej Duda (L) netted praise from British premier Boris Johnson after being re-elected Polish president. (Sean Gallup via Getty Images/Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Andrzej Duda (L) netted praise from British premier Boris Johnson after being re-elected Polish president. (Sean Gallup via Getty Images/Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

British prime minister Boris Johnson, who thanked the LGBT+ community for their “inspirational work” during Pride Month only weeks ago, suffered stinging criticism after congratulating Poland’s re-elected president, Andrzej Duda.

You know, Duda, who hinged his re-election campaign on stoking fears of LGBT+ people and even promising to ban same-sex couples from adopting children? That Duda.

On Monday evening (13 July), the premier tweeted: “Congratulations to Andrzej Duda on your re-election as president of Poland.

“The UK and Poland have a long, shared history and friendship in Europe, NATO and elsewhere. I look forward to that continuing as we face the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

The tweet proved alarming to an array of LGBT+ activists, startled that the leader who only weeks ago praised the LGBT+ community for “their inspirational work” in a tweet that called in Pride Month.

Boris Johnson congratulated Poland’s hateful, homophobic president. LGBT+ people were not impressed. 

Duda narrowly won a second term in what emerged as one of Poland’s tightest presidential elections since the end of communist rule in 1989.

The lawyer-turned-politician’s win was seemingly a symbolic mandate for Poland’s increasingly right-wing, nationalistic and anti-LGBT+ rulers, where around one-third of the country has declared itself an “LGBT-free zone“.

For many in the opposition – Warsaw’s pro-LGBT+ liberal mayor Rafal Trzaskowski – the election was a final chance to save Poland’s democracy and prevent the country from being engulfed in hatred.

Duda has a thick track record of anti-LGBT+ comment, which he has often placed front-and-centre of his re-election campaign to leverage conservative voters. He pledged to “prohibit the propagation” LGBT+ families, and compared “LGBT+ ideology” to Soviet Union-era communist indoctrination.

As a result, Johnson’s tweet became a lightning rod for criticism among LGBT+ people. Many aired their frustration over the Conservative Party leader congratulating the president.

It comes after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage praised Duda, who similarly hinged his campaign on European Union resentment. “Nigel, is Euroscepticism more important than defeating rampant homophobia? Don’t answer, we know you, after all,” one Twitter user replied.

More: Andrzej Duda., Boris Johnson, Homophobia, Poland, UK

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