Poland and its LGBT-free zones, it feels like the Middle Ages.
It does sound a bit like the Middle Ages and it is therefore hard to believe, but many cities and municipalities in Poland have recently declared themselves LBGT-free zones. Rarely has homophobia been displayed to such an extreme. A look at the map showing the areas in question is frightening. This is an area that covers almost a third of the entire country!
Poland has certainly never been considered a country to which gay people or members of the LGBT community could live unconcerned. The corresponding resolutions, however, put the crown on the whole thing... And have already been sharply criticised internationally.
The governments of the cities and municipalities do not seem to be interested in exactly that. On the contrary! Many regions are currently considering joining and declaring themselves LGBT-free zones.
Not a new idea...
The idea of declaring oneself an LGBT-free zone is not new. Already last year, the basis for this was created within the framework of a campaign.
The aim: to protect themselves from the community. Many governments referred to the classical family and its place in society in their respective declarations. Homosexuals don't seem to fit in here, even in the 21st century. Too bad... And frightening.
International criticism - also from Germany
However, it is also gratifying to note that the decision is making big waves. In Germany, too, many people are now reacting to the LGBT-free zones. The Lesbian and Gay Association of Germany, for example, called for partnerships with cities that had made the homophobic decisions to be paused for a certain period of time.
The EU Parliament was also definitely not enthusiastic about the actions of the Polish municipalities. Already last year, when the above-mentioned campaign became public, French cities, for example, decided to end or pause their partnership with the Polish municipalities.
However, it remains questionable whether this can be the final solution. After all, ending a partnership also means that discussion and communication fall by the wayside. The fronts are thus likely to harden even more (unfortunately).
How are gays doing in Poland?
There is no question: same-sex love exists everywhere - also in Poland. But how are the people who live there and either keep quiet about their love or are discriminated against? Even today, there are many Poles who either emigrate for this very reason or remain silent and suffer in silence.
Especially bad: in many areas of Poland, they not only do not fit into the world view, but are considered enemies and are marginalised in numerous areas of everyday life.
But: there is also an LGBT community in Poland that - today perhaps more than ever - fights against exclusion and discrimination. In 2019, violent attacks by right-wing groups occurred at a corresponding demonstration.
In short, the situation for gay, lesbian and queer Poles could definitely be better. However, actions around LGBT-free zones attract international attention and show those in power that not everyone agrees with their actions.
It remains to be seen whether ending town twinning is actually the best solution here. However, as hardened as the fronts currently are, it would certainly be naïve to hope that all parties involved will sit down at a round table in the near future.
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