The motion was passed overwhelmingly in favour of the condemnation.
The European Parliament has passed a motion condemning Poland after local authorities in the country started declaring themselves as “free from LGBT ideology.”
Most of the 80 ‘LGBT-free zones’ in the country are in the south-east. In these zones, local authorities pledge to refrain from actions that could be seen as tolerant of the LGBTQ community, and prevent financial aid to NGOs helping to promote equal rights.
The European Parliament passed the motion with 463 votes in favour, 107 votes against, and 105 abstentions.
The motion noted how most of the 80 regions “discriminate in particular against single-parent and LGBTI families” and added that they were part of “a broader context of attacks against the LGBTI community in Poland, which include growing hate speech by public and elected officials and public media, as well as attacks and bans on Pride marches and actions such as Rainbow Friday.”
Rainbow Friday is an event that takes place in October in Polish schools, which aims to show support for LGBTQ pupils. However, government officials are now labelling the event as “indoctrination.”
The motion then “calls on Poland to firmly condemn discrimination against LGBTI people… and to revoke resolutions attacking LGBTI rights, including local provisions against ‘LGBT ideology’, in accordance with its national law as well as its obligations under EU and international law.”
The motion was opposed from MEPs from Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party. Notes from Poland reports Witold Waszczykowski, a former Foreign Minister saying that the LGBTQ “ideology that someone is creating out of this, demanding special treatment and causing upheaval.”
Meanwhile, Joachim Brudziński a former Interior Minister claimed that “people who have a different sexual orientation or gender identity have never been harassed or discriminated in Poland” and blamed opposition politicians of “destroying the image of Poland for their own interests.”
Poland has been hit with a wave of homophobia from politicians, the media and religious figures as the conservative ruling party sought re-election. Gazeta Polska, a Polish newspaper which supports the Law and Justice Party, began distributing stickers with ‘LGBT-free zone’ printed on them.
The stickers were eventually stopped by a Warsaw district judge, and some advertisers abandoned the paper over the homophobic stunt.
Meanwhile, Catholic bishops accused IKEA of LGBTQ indoctrination, after a Polish branch fired a worker for sharing homophobic Bible verses.
The employee, known only as Tomasz K. posted homophobic Bible verses on the store’s internal intranet after the store requested staff members attend an International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia event.
And Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski also claimed that a “rainbow plague” was affecting Poland, comparing LGBTQ equality to Communism.
In a sermon, he said: “Our land is no longer affected by the red plague, which does not mean that there is no new one that wants to control our souls, hearts and minds. Not Marxist, Bolshevik, but born of the same spirit, neo-Marxist. Not red, but rainbow.”