| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

Poland: Parliament to debate bill banning LGBT pride parades

Poland’s parliament is set to debate a law banning pride parades and other public gestures in support of LGBT rights Thursday evening.
The bill would modify Poles’ right to free assembly and undoubtedly place Poland in fresh conflict with the EU, which is already concerned about judicial independence in the country as well as a Polish constitutional court ruling declaring Polish law supersedes EU law.
The amendment to the right of assembly stipulates that going forward public gatherings may not “question marriage as a relationship between a woman and a man” or “propagate the extension of marriage to persons of the same sex.” Demonstrations such as pride parades would be banned because they promote “sexual orientation other than heterosexual.”
It is unclear how seriously the 460 legislators in the Sejm, Poland’s lower house of parliament, will treat the bill given that it originated from an outside pressure group, the conservative anti-abortion rights Life and Family Foundation.
The group successfully gathered 140,000 signatures to propel the “Stop LGBT” legislation forward. Under Polish law, citizens who gather 100,000 signatures from eligible voters can force a reading of a bill in the parliament.
The All-Poland Women’s Strike movement which led protests against fresh abortion restrictions last year has called for protests outside the parliament under the auspices of a “Hate-Free Zone.”
Many politicians in the ruling Law and Justice Party, including the president, have campaigned against the rights of the LGBT community.
Two years ago, several communities and regions in Poland have declared themselves to be “LGBT ideology free zones.” However, recently some places have rescinded this status as the EU withheld funding citing the discriminatory nature of the designation.
Amnesty International’s Nils Muiznieks called on Polish lawmakers “to recognize that love is love, and reject this hateful proposal which is discriminatory to its core.”
Muiznieks added, “This initiative may not have originated with the Polish government, but let us be clear: the government’s normalization of hateful rhetoric has created an environment in which people feel empowered to spew bigotry.”