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Polish police taught being LGBT+ is a ‘social pathology, like drug addiction’

Emma Powys Maurice May 10, 2021
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Poland Police LGBT+ protest

Police look on as a trans activist hangs a Pride flag on a statue in Krakow, Poland on August 8, 2020 (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto/Getty)

Poland’s police commander-in-chief has been asked to explain why a new textbook for police officers lists LGBT+ people under “social pathologies”.

The textbook, Social Pathologies – Selected Issues, was recently published by a police training centre in Legionowo. It describes the LGBT+ community as a form of “social pathology” alongside drug addiction and begging, highlighting trans and non-binary people as particular examples.

The shocking text was raised in the Sejm on Friday (5 May) by Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, MP for the left-wing Lewica party.

“I would like to emphasise that the LGBTQ community is not an ideology, nor is it a pathology – these are people. These are people who are being exposed to harm, violence and discrimination,” she said as she confronted police chief Jarosław Szymczykat.

The MP declared it is “unacceptable” that police who are “are obliged to protect all citizens… irrespective of who they are, discriminate against these people”.

She called on Szymczykat and the commander of the training centre to explain exactly how the manual was developed and how it was ever cleared for use.

“Is it that any organisation or person can come to the police training centre, put any piece of paper on the table that contains rubbish or harmful fake news, and from this piece of paper future officers will learn?” she asked.

“Are there any criteria for the approval of textbooks into the circulation of teaching materials? Who cares how future policemen are educated?

“These [institutions] today are responsible for what will happen on the streets of Polish cities and towns, when non-heteronormative persons will be subject to police intervention.”

Lewica leader Krzysztof Gawkowski added to the criticism, highlighting that transgender identities are not a disease – “and policemen who intervene should not only know it, but also have it encoded in the DNA of their service”.

“Each officer should undergo anti-discrimination training, on which hate speech and pathologies will be indicated, and the attitudes of policemen focused on taking the side of the weaker, excluded and offended,” he continued.

“This textbook is the antithesis of such training, because it arouses hatred, not restricts it.”

Police in Poland “should strive for the highest possible level of education” for officers, he said, before calling on Jarosław Szymczyk to restore their “good name” by providing an explanation.

Jarosław Szymczyk has not yet publicly responded to Lewica, nor PinkNews.

Related topics: Poland

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