Homophobia in Poland - von der Leyen defends sexual minorities.
Ursula von der Leyen recently made an important statement regarding the equality of sexual minorities and the current situation in Poland. Gays, lesbians and other queers fight for their rights here every day anew and have to defend themselves against numerous prejudices and discriminations.
Now, among other things, the EU Commission President used her reach on twitter to side with the oppressed people in the neighbouring country. She stressed that it was important that "Our treaties ensure that every person in Europe is free to be who they are, live where they like, love who they want and aim as high as they want. I will continue to push for a #UnionOfEquality." Strong words.
Our treaties ensure that every person in Europe is free to be who they are, live where they like, love who they want and aim as high as they want.
- Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) July 30, 2020
A look behind the message - what had happened?
Even though Ursula von der Leyen has already made her opinion on homophobia unmistakably clear in various statements in the past, the latest tweet had a special occasion. Because: several municipalities in Poland recently adopted declarations that the rights of gays and lesbians in the country should be restricted. The absolute "high point" in this context was, or is, the convening of so-called "gay rights conferences". LGBT free zones, to which attention should be drawn with separate signs at the respective entrances to the town.
By the way, Germany is not the only country that was outraged by this. Many countries demanded a rethink from Poland. Some even threatened to cancel town twinning agreements. In some cases, applications related to the promotion of said partnerships were also rejected by the responsible EU Commission.
Polish LGBTQ scene does not let itself be defeated
It may be a confusing picture: on one side the waving rainbow flags, on the other side the statement of the conservatives. But: especially now it seems more important than ever to live a message in a peaceful and yet certain way. There are certainly more gays and lesbians in Poland than it might seem at first glance and than the advocates of LGBT free zones would like to admit. All the better that the sexual minorities in the country are currently receiving a lot of support from abroad.
Will the LGBT free zones be repealed again?
Whether the LGBT-free zones in Poland will be lifted again in the coming months or years remains questionable. Among other things, it certainly depends on the pressure from the European community whether or when the Polish politicians will agree to give in. At the moment, they still have a not inconsiderable amount of support from the population.
To what extent this could change if even more senior politicians were to comment on the current situation. Position remains to be seen. After all, this is not only about defending old or modern values, but also about cohesion within the EU and the image of an entire country. Terminated town twinning and a refusal to communicate could have a negative impact.
As long as both parties are willing to talk to each other, the last word on the matter has certainly not been said.
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