After a declaration by the mayor of Warsaw aimed at promoting tolerance towards LGBTQ people, Poland’s governing party, Law and Justice, took hold of it and used it to promote their campaign for European Union elections in May and for national elections later in the year, according to The New York Times.
Part of an unfortunate trend across Europe, many populist groups have usurped gay rights movements and used them against LGBTQ in order to rally their base. The leader of Law and Justice, Jarosław Kaczyński, said that the party must defend Poland’s Christian values by fighting LGBTQ rights as he views it as a threat to civilization in Poland as well as all of Europe. Elzbieta Kruk, the woman running Law and Justice’s list or a seat in the EU said that she hopes that Poland becomes a “region free from L.G.B.T”
Additionally, popular priest Marek Dziewiecki announced on a radio show that LGBT stands for “pedophiles, zoophiles, necrophiles,” (maybe it makes sense in Poland?) and that gay people want to turn everyone into “infertile erotomaniacs.” Pretty terrible, right? In the US gay people have also been compared to pedophiles and zoophiles, so I suppose it’s a ubiquitous thought, unfortunately.
It gets worse, however. Reverend Henryk Grzadko announced in front of approximately 1,500 supporters of far-right groups in Czestochowa, said that LGBTQ people are trying to steal Poland’s “internal values like truth, love, human life, family based on marriage, and morality based on Gospel and Decalogue.” It’s always nice to hear, as a gay person, that LGBTQ individuals are responsible for societal collapse.
However, Rafal Trzaswkoski, the mayor of Warsaw, said that these proclamations made by Law and Justice, are a product of fear. He also said that he doesn’t believe that Poles are as likely to buy the idea that LGBTQ “endanger… culture and values.” Moreover, there has been an increase in LGBTQ acceptance, with 56% of Poles in favor of civil unions, while just two years ago it was 52%, as well as only 18% opposing adoption by gay couples, so at least there’s a chance that the Law and Justice party won’t have too much of an influence.
In the United States I have been noticing an increase in intolerance towards LGBTQ people but I have also noticed a great deal of support. I don’t live in a country as conservative as Poland so I’m unsure of the influence the church has, but I do hope that it doesn’t create a huge rift between LGBTQ people and the religious right. It is rather upsetting that some people can say such horrible and untruthful things, but I am hopeful that people will do the right thing and resist homophobia.
h/t: The New York Times