Polish region drops anti-LGBT status in face of EU pressure

Telegram från AFP / Omni
22 September 2021, 21.15

A region in the south of Poland has ceded to an EU threat to withhold funding and dropped its self-proclaimed status as an "LGBT-ideology free zone" at a meeting Wednesday of the local assembly.

In a live-streamed extraordinary session of the regional assembly of Swietokrzyskie, 25 councillors voted in favour of dropping the label.

There were no votes against the motion and three abstentions.

In mid-July, the European Commission launched legal action against the conservative governments of Hungary and Poland in response to a series of measures seen as discriminatory towards LGBTQ citizens.

Hungary brought a so-called "anti-paedophilia" law into force earlier this year, which among other things bans the "promotion" of homosexuality and gender reassignment to under-18s.

And in Poland, around 100 towns and villages declared themselves "LGBT-ideology free zones" in a resolution some characterised as a "charter for family rights".

The communities concerned cover about a third of Polish territory and are mainly located in the country's east and southeast, traditionally very Catholic.

In response, Brussels put on hold talks with five of the regions over their application for cash from the EU's pandemic recovery fund.

On Monday, the region of Cracow also dropped its anti-LGBT position.

In July, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen had insisted that "Europe will never allow parts of our society to be stigmatised: be it because of whom they love, because of their age, their ethnicity, their political opinions, or their religious beliefs."

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