WARSAW, Poland – Polish leaders on Monday rejected proposals that LGBTQ people would be deprived of their rights in the country after an open letter from 50 ambassadors and international officials cited the need for “non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual acceptance” has been. ”
The ambassador’s calling in one open letter released on Sunday comes as an increasingly visible LGBTQ community in Poland faces backlash from the right-wing government, many local communities and the Catholic Church.
“Human rights are universal and everyone, including LGBTI people, is entitled to the full enjoyment,” reads the letter, which uses the acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual people.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki agreed that everyone deserves respect, but that he totally disagrees with the ambassadors’ claim that LGBT people are withheld.
“Dear Ambassador, I can only tell you that tolerance is in the DNA of Poles,” Morawiecki said at a press conference on Monday. “Nobody has to teach us tolerance.”
Some Polish heads of state and government, including the president and the ruling party lawmakers, have viewed the civil rights movement for LGBTQ people as a threat to traditional families. president Andrzej Duda won a second term this summer after calling LGBTQ rights an “ideology” more dangerous than communism.
In the meantime, dozens of cities in conservative parts of eastern and southern Poland have passed mostly symbolic resolutions declaring themselves free of “LGBT ideology”. Many of the statements express the view that when faced with the problem, young people become demoralized.
“Human rights are not an ideology – they are universal,” tweeted US Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher. “50 ambassadors and representatives agree.”
Joachim Brudzinski, deputy chairman of the ruling Law and Justice Party, who is now the legislator in the European Parliament, shot back in Mosbacher on Monday and said: “We in Poland are also in agreement.”
“That is why we wait with hope for the next letter, this time in defense of murdered Christians, imprisoned # ProLife activists, people who have been fired from work and persecuted for quoting the Bible, people who have been subjected to euthanasia against their will”, he wrote on Twitter along with a few other examples of alleged abuse of Christians.
It wasn’t exactly clear what Brudzinski was referring to. Poland is a predominantly Catholic nation where Christians are not persecuted and where abortion is in most cases illegal and euthanasia is prohibited. In one case, however, an IKEA worker in Poland was fired for quoting scriptures to suggest that homosexuals should be killed. The current government has spoken in defense of the worker and a prosecutor is suing the IKEA manager who fired him.
Brudzinski also threw himself into the debate on LGBTQ rights in the summer and said on Twitter: “Poland without LGBT is the most beautiful.” His tweet contained a picture of Jesus and eggs in a bird’s nest – a family of birds that he called “God’s plan” “described.
This sparked articles in the Polish liberal press about how homosexuality is a naturally occurring phenomenon in the animal world – just one of many examples of support for LGBTQ people in Poland. In Warsaw, for example, it has recently become common to see rainbow flags hanging on apartments or people carrying rainbow bags.
The ambassadors’ letter recognized the work of the LGBTQ community in Poland to raise awareness of the challenges it is facing. The rise in hostility has led many to do so live in anger and fear or even to emigrate in the country.
Many activists say their top priority now is to pass laws that criminalize hate speech against people based on their sexual identity.
The letter was signed by the ambassadors of the United States, many European countries, including Germany, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom, and countries further afield such as Japan and Australia.
It was also signed by representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Warsaw-based Democratic Community in Poland.