Boris Johnson just congratulated Poland’s hateful, homophobic president and people were quick to point out the obvious
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.
Congratulations to @AndrzejDuda 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.
— Boris Johnson #StayAlert (@BorisJohnson) July 13, 2020
“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.
This narrowly re-elected Polish President has declared war on LGBTQ rights, which he describes an "ideology worse than Communism."
The global Right's attack on LGBTQ people and rights continues to escalate. https://t.co/MFEX6I8vrE
— Owen Jones ? (@OwenJones84) July 13, 2020
A note to @BorisJohnson – congratulating & pandering to a homophobe is no way to advance the cause of equality and should never be part of any 'friendship'.
Solidarity and love to all in the LGBT+ community in Poland. Please know you are loved. ?️? #loveislove https://t.co/XHAmRoYbWH
— Michael Payne (@MichaelPayneUK) July 13, 2020
I actually feel sick, he’s congratulating a man who said that gay couples shouldn’t be able to adopt and allows a country to have LGBT free zones. https://t.co/ePu5ME2N9h
— Lily Thorley (@lilythorley_) July 13, 2020
You are joking??????????? His attacks on the Polish LGBTQ+ community are beyond vile. People are SCARED.
Congratulations should be the last thing on your mind. But then again, it's you. Not got a good rep in this community either. https://t.co/DbzFMLcJf2
— Love, Jacob ❤️️ (????/????) (@ItsJacobEdward) July 13, 2020
Don't congratulate your fascist mates on my behalf. https://t.co/ArzKU6kxOp
— Britgirl Hates Bozo and Brexit (@MarieAnnUK) July 14, 2020
This is the main reason why, to this day, I have been too scared to declare my sexuality on any official government/council/NHS et al. documents. At any moment this government can prorogue parliament, change the law and enforce their anti-LGBT ideology #LGBT #LGBTRights https://t.co/gfzbuPQOn3
— Jamie Saunders (@jasaunders90) July 14, 2020
Polish LGBTQ+ people are absolutely fucking terrified for their lives, and THIS is our PM's take.
Absolutely vile. https://t.co/1lZsYQs8Iy
— Trans Rights Collective UK (@ProtestTrans) July 13, 2020
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.