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European Union to be declared LGBT+ ‘freedom zone’ in response to terrifying rollback of queer rights in Poland

Emma Powys Maurice March 2, 2021

The European Commission HQ lit with rainbow colours (Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto/Getty)

The European Union could be declared an LGBT+ “freedom zone” as members rally to reject Poland’s horrifying homophobic regime.

On Tuesday (9 March) the European Parliament will debate a resolution to formally affirm the EU as an “LGBTQI freedom zone”, signalling support from the highest levels of government.

The resolution will mark the sad second anniversary of the first “LGBT-free” zone in Poland’s Świdnik county, which now covers around a third of the country.

While it’s not clear what effect the resolution will have on established LGBT-free zones, it will certainly highlight Poland’s rapidly waning influence in the EU as its stubborn homophobic hatred continues to isolate the country from its neighbours.

“This resolution is a signal to all LGBTIQ persons, organisations and activists that the European Parliament stands by their side and advocates for their rights,” read a statement from the EU’s LGBTI Intergroup, which organised the action.

“It is equally a signal to elected politicians, governments and decision-makers that discrimination against LGBTIQ persons in any way or form does not comply with European values.”

The resolution will go to vote on Wednesday (10 March). The group expects it to be adopted by a vast majority of member states, drawing a clear line between the EU and the homophobic scapegoating increasingly normalised in Poland.

To accompany the inclusive action the LGBTI Intergroup is calling supporters and allies to flood social media with photos of rainbow flags at famous monuments.

It’s far from the first time the EU has moved to condemn Poland’s growing anti-LGBT+ sentiment. In December 2019 the European Parliament passed a resolution against public discrimination and hate speech, and encouraged funding to be withdrawn from nations that infringe this.

The EU has since made good on this threat and scrapped huge grants from certain regions, which prompted some LGBT-free zones to withdraw their homophobic pledges.

However a majority still remain, and the situation has grown increasingly dire as a bill proposing a national ban on Pride parades swiftly advances through parliament.

The latest resolution will be the EU’s clearest condemnation yet against Poland, which will inescapably draw attention to the widening gulf between president Andrezj Duda and his European counterparts.

More: EU, LGBT, Poland

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