Poland is the most homophobic nation in the world. So much, that they even declared some of their colonies as anti-LGBTQ zones and the Polish government was okay with this. Now imagine such a homophobic country run by a conservative, narrow minded person as their President.
Andrzej Duda, who is running for a second term as President, has promised to protect Polish traditional principles against LGBTQ rights. This was immediately after the first round of presidential election which gained him the most number of votes. But also forced him to go into a runoff.
Andrzej Duda’s anti-LGBTQ campaign:
Duda’s immediate turn to an old theme that he raised quite frequently in his campaigns stands as an indication that he’s going into a runoff.
His main opposition candidate and Warsaw’s mayor, Rafal Trzaskowski introduced a sex education programme in the city’s schools over a year ago. This also involves teaching about the LGBTQ issues.
Earlier in June, Duda said that the LGBTQ rights movement establishes a viewpoint which is way threatening that communism. Regardless of the street protests and EU’s criticism, Duda seemed to go back to his old theme. But with slightly easy language this time.
He told that “ideological materials” should be left out of schools. He also said that all pro-LGBTQ content in schools always remind him of his yesteryears. The times when communist authority taught kids one principle, while they went home and learnt it’s opposite.
He even went on to say that his parents’ generation struggled with the communist principles for over 40 years. And that “they didn’t fight for this so that a new ideology would appear that is even more destructive”.
Duda’s statements sparked protests in Poland:
Almost a 100 protesters showed up with banners at an election rally for the President; after he voiced the LGBTQ “ideology” as way more destructive than communism. Duda’s harsh statements hurt many rights groups and opposition politicians.
This rally, held at the Lublin eastern city, saw around 3500 people supporting the responsible President. “We gathered in large numbers to show him (Duda) that we are not an ideology, as these are the words that we hear very often from PiS politicians in recent days,” LGBT activist Bartosz Staszewski told of this protest.
Protesters were also seen carried signs quoting “We are people and not ideology”, “I am a human” and “Duda, spare us shame”; showed the footage from a private broadcaster -TVN.
“We gathered in large numbers to show him (Duda) that we are not an ideology; as these are the words that we hear very often from PiS politicians in recent days,” LGBT activist Bartosz Staszewski said of the protest.
Andrzej Duda’s anti-LGBTQ campaign is an old trick:
The race is narrowing and Duda repeatedly turns to homophobia to stock up his support. He also promised to specifically ban same-sex couples from adopting kid. However, this only simply extends the current law. The law which bans same-sex partners from adoption.
In June he signed a ‘Family Card’, where he pledged to retain the ban on same-sex marriage and stop LGBTQIA+ education in schools.
All of this transpired before he made the communism statements.
The LGBTQ people from Poland now live in fear of their future.
Decision time for the future of Poland:
Duda wins or not will determine if Law and Justice (Duda’s party) will retain its power or no. Over the span of five years, the party has taken complete control of Poland’s judicial system. In such a way that the EU has declared it as violating democratic principles.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitored this election. They declared the campaign went on professionally. However, it’s also rumoured that public TV broadcaster “became a campaign tool for the incumbent; while some reporting had clear xenophobic and anti-Semitic undertones.”
“The campaign itself was characterised by negative rhetoric by the leading candidates; that further aggravated the already confrontational atmosphere,” the OSCE told in a statement. “Inflammatory language by the incumbent and his campaign was at times xenophobic and homophobic.”
Analysts say that this presidential race is a key turning point in modern Polish politics. A Duda victory will give the populist (right wing) PiS power to shape the country’s future. However, if the pro-European Trzaskowski wins, he can stomp on their power.
Next Read: Poland Has “Anti-LGBT Zones” Now