Poland has not exactly been the beaming with LGBT equality, with certain cities being designated as LGBT-free zones and a political party saying that gay people are a danger to Europe. Knowing this, it isn’t surprising that a recent poll revealed young Polish men said that the greatest threat to their country is “gender ideology and the LGBT movement,” according to Slate.
I’m not particularly in tune with the problems that Poland is facing, but I doubt that relationships between consenting adults cause any harm. No, what that poll revealed is the pervasiveness of the conservative media of Poland and the impact that it has on Polish citizens. The far-right, conservative government is led by the man in the above pictures, Jarosław Kaczyński, who has a history of anti-LGBT rhetoric. In addition to him saying that LGBT people are a threat to Polish identity, he has also said same-sex parents undermine Polish values.
That rhetoric has created many problems for LGBT people in Poland, as during a pride march in June, protesters threw bricks, eggs, rocks, and rotten vegetables at the march participants as well as lit fireworks during the presentation. Additionally, the protesters hurled homophobic insults to marchers. These things happen presumably because of the stronghold that the media holds over Poland as well as the Roman-Catholic influence in education and politics in Poland. Here in the US, it’s hard to avoid religion but at least it hasn’t infiltrated the education system (yet).
Speaking of the US, it can be argued that the United States government played an indirect hand in Poland’s anti-LGBT propaganda, with the Trump administration falling silent on LGBT issues, as well as Donald Trump himself delivering a speech laden with right-wing talking points to the people of Poland. It is no secret that Poland is a highly conservative country so it’s only natural that the Polish citizens gravitate towards Trump.
What do you think? Will LGBT rights in Poland get worse before they get better or will they continue to go downhill? And do you think that US conservative rhetoric played a part in this intolerance of LGBT people? Either way, it can’t be an easy time for gay Polish citizens.