Thousands of people took part in a pride parade in Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday Jun. 19. Participants in the “Equality Parade” marched to call for an end to discrimination against the LGBTQ community.
LGBT rights in Poland is one of the worst in European Union countries, according to the 2021 report by ILGA-Europe, a leading LGBT advocacy group.
Poland is heavily Catholic and largely conservative. The ruling populist PiS party and the Catholic clergy, have been accused of boosting homophobia in Poland, according to EuroNews.
President Andrzej Duda has also said “LGBT is not people, it’s an ideology” and that it was “even more destructive than communism.”
Same-sex relationships are not legally recognized in Poland, and same-sex couples cannot adopt children together.
Although some LGBT people have been able to adopt by applying as a single parent, the Polish government proposed a new law in March that would close the loophole, requiring authorities to perform background checks on anyone who applies to adopt as a single parent.
In recent years, some 100 towns and regions in Poland – around a third of the country – have declared themselves to be “LGBT-free zones”, areas that are “free of LGBT ideology.”
In response, the European Union has declared the whole of the EU as an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone.”
The EU’s resolution declares that “LGBTIQ persons everywhere in the EU should enjoy the freedom to live and publicly show their sexual orientation and gender identity without fear of intolerance, discrimination or persecution,” according to the BBC.