Andrzej Duda has scraped home in the Polish presidential election with 51.2% of the vote sparking fears among Poland’s LGBT of further crackdowns and the diminution of the community’s human rights.
During his campaign, Duda compared “LGBT ideology” to communism. He does not support the right of same-sex couples to marry or form civil partnerships, and believes that schools should not teach classes on gay rights.
His anti-LGBT rhetoric echoes the comments of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, who in September 2019 said that “the family as we know it is under attack”. In the same month, Marek Jedraszewski, the archbishop of Krakow, linked totalitarian regimes and their “systems for destroying people” with “gender ideology and LGBT ideology”.
Duda’s anti-gay rhetoric has struck a chord with local politicians nationwide with more than 100 municipalities declaring themselves “LGBT free zones” prompting the EU Commissioner for Equality, Malta’s Helena Dalli, to threaten to “revisit” EU funding from any local authority with anti-LGBT policies.
Marek Szolc, 28, Warsaw’s only openly gay councillor, told France 24 that anti-LGBT violence is “visible on the streets” of Poland – even in Warsaw. Szolc said a child who recently put a rainbow flag in her window found vulgar graffiti on the outer wall of her building the next morning.
“When I saw this, what I immediately associated it with was the graffiti that were drawn in Berlin in (the) 1930s just before the Kristallnacht … when Jewish flats were attacked this way,” Szolc said.
“This is the level of violence we [have] right now, this is the level of emotion,” he said.