Fact Check

Mostly true : « LGBT Free-zones » exists in Poland

 In July 2020, the European Union annonced they will stop to provide funding to six Polish cities accused to be hostile against LGBT poeple, and consider themselve as « LGBT-free zones ». Helena Dalli, European Union commissioner for equality wrote on a tweet : « EU values and fundamental rights must be respected by Member States and state autorities ». European commission President Ursula Von der Leyen also said that these « LGBT-free zones have no place in our union ». She thinks that these zones exist in Poland. This is mostly true.

The EU commissioner pointed especially six cities, but 88 localities considere themselve as « LGBT-free zones ». This zone includes municipalities and regions, which represent roughly a third of the country, mostly in the south of Poland. Not only the UE criticised Poland for these zones. Joe Biden claimed that LGBT-free zone « have no place in the European Union or anywhere in the world ». Many french country, like Nogent-sur-Marne, also canceled theire twinning with Polish cities that signed anti-LGBT bills.

What is an LGBT-free zone?

LGBT-free zone are not places where homosexuality is forbidden, but are really hostile to lesbian and gay poeple.  For exemple, in 2019 Lublin Voivodeship has forbidden « equality march and LGBT events ». These declaration statements didn’t exclude LGBT poeple from the territory. But they refered to manifestation of « LGBT ideology ».

An intolerent climate

Poland decriminalized homosexuality in 1932. But the country is roughly hostile against homosexuality and LGBT partisans.  For exemple, Polish president Andrzej Duda compared  « LBGT ideology » with « neobolchevism ».  Gay people still can’t get married or adopt childrens. Only 29% of the Polish Population is supporting gay mariage. In august 2020, Warsaw’s police arrest two poeple for covering Jesus’s statue with an LGBT flag. They were accused of « Offending religious and Christian feelings ».

Poland is a really Christian country. The governing party, the PIS, had supported a resolution taken by Polish municipalities declaring theire opposition to the promotion of « LGBT ideology in schools ». Members of the Polish parlement also wanted to forbide « LGBT ideology ».

Some LGBT-friendly zones

But the whole country is not concerned by these issues. Big cities like Warsav or Gdansk are mostly LGBT-friendly. Rafal Trzaskowski, Warsaw’s liberal mayor signed February 18 a « LGBT chart » that promise the creation of a refuge for gay and lesbian poeple who are rejected by their families, and promote education about homophobia. July 15 2020, a Polish Court also canceled the proclamation of two « LGBT-free zone ».

Conclusion

Ursula Van Der Leyen is true when she pointed these zones, because they reduce a lot LGBT rights, by forbidden demonstration or manifestation of LGBT identity. Polish global climate is also really hostile to LGBT poeple. But these districts can’t strictly forbid gay of lesbian poeple to live in their area.

Thibaut Copleux / Simon Adolf