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Resolution on LGBTIQ passed by EP widely discussed in Poland

The European Parliament passed a resolution on Thursday declaring the European Union “a zone of LGBTIQ freedom.” Polish right-wing parties Law and Justice (PiS) and Confederation criticised it while centrist and left opposition were generally in favour of the resolution.

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The document states that the right to equal treatment and non-discrimination is a fundamental right under EU treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and should be respected in full.

The resolution was passed with 492 votes in favour, 141 against and 46 abstentions, and will be forwarded to EU governments and parliaments.

The resolution calls upon the European Commission to take decisive steps in combatting the discrimination of LGBTIQ people, saying “all Member States have assumed obligations and duties under international law and the EU Treaties to respect, guarantee, protect and fulfil fundamental rights; … combatting inequality in the EU is a shared responsibility.”

Political comments from Poland

An MEP from PiS, Ryszard Legutko told the Polish public broadcaster TVP that the resolution “is not completely meaningful” in a legal sense, but is an act that puts pressure on member states to change the law and introduce various privileges for different groups. “This is dangerous in itself, and besides, it is a violation of the law that says that matters relating to marriage and family remain the exclusive responsibility of national states,” the politician commented.

Jakub Kulesza, the head of the parliamentary caucus of Confederation pointed out that the resolutions of the European Parliament were not legally binding.”The easiest way to guarantee equal rights for everyone is to guarantee these rights, regardless of gender or sexual identity. I consider such listings only of individual groups very discriminatory,” he said.

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Marcin Kierwiński, an MP of opposition Civic Coalition (KO) said that the resolution is “a clear declaration that there is no consent in the EU to discriminate against anyone.” “It is a pity that there are politicians for whom it is not natural and that is why such resolutions are needed,” he said.

“I negatively assess [the policy] of PiS… Action provokes a reaction, if politicians do not know it, it reflects badly on them, but in my opinion they do it consciously, because they want Poland to be a country of war, conflict, division.” Marek Sawicki of the Polish People’s Party (PSL) said commenting the resolution.

Andrzej Rozenek, an MP of the Left, assessed that it was “a very good and right resolution.” “In fact, it would not be needed if some countries ruled by national populists had not recently started persecuting sexual minorities. This resolution sends a clear signal to all who want to be in the EU that fundamental human rights continue to apply and will apply,” he said.

The leader of Kukiz’15, Paweł Kukiz, decided that during a COVID-19 pandemic there are much more important problems to be solved. “With all due respect to the LGBT community and various non-LGBT environments, at the moment we really have much more important problems. COVID-19 is a problem, the problem is whether the health service or healthcare will be efficient or inefficient,” he told commercial broadcaster Polsat News.

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