Polish MPs Advance Bill to Ban Pride Events

Poland may ban Pride events with bill that has received backlash from different quarters.

News Brian Webb

This article was published on November 1st, 2021

The Polish parliament on Friday voted to send a bill that would ban Pride marches and other events promoting LGBTIQ equality for further work to committees. The proposed legislation dubbed “Stop LGBT” is a citizen’s legislative initiative filed by conservative campaigners.

According to the draft bill, the legislation would ban “any event which questions marriage as a relationship between a woman and a man” or “propagates the extension of marriage to persons of the same sex cannot go ahead.”

In his speech, Krzysztof Kasprzak, one of the activists who presented the bill, termed the LGBT rights movement a form of totalitarianism and compared it to Nazism. He further accused the movement of seeking “to overthrow the natural order and introduce terror.” 

However, Włodzimierz Czarzasty, a left-wing deputy speaker of parliament, slammed Krzysztof’s remarks saying it was the “most disgusting speech” he had heard in his time in parliament.

Several opposition legislators, from the left, centre and even the conservative group, have denounced the proposed legislation on the grounds that it is inhumane, homophobic or a violation of the right to assembly guaranteed in Poland’s constitution. It remains unclear whether the proposal has the backing needed to progress out of the Sejm, Poland’s lower house of parliament.

Origin of bill

The proposal was put forward by a conservative anti-LGBTIQ and anti-abortion group, “Life and Family Foundation”, which collected over 140,000 signatures supporting the draft bill. Under Polish law, citizens who gather 100,000 signatures from eligible voters can force a reading of a bill in the parliament. The legality of the “Stop LGBT” bill will be assessed at the committee stage.

The legislation, if passed, would limit Poles’ right to free assembly and, in essence, make Poland an “LGBTQ-free” zone, placing it at risk of losing EU funding

OutRight Action International, an international LGBTIQ human rights NGO, has condemned the proposed legislation and called on the relevant committee to “reject the proposed bill in its entirety.”

“This is a very dark day in Poland, not only for LGBTIQ people but for Polish society as a whole,” said acting OutRight Action International Executive Director Maria Sjödin. 

“Prides are a crucial element of the movement for LGBTIQ equality, and, moreover, they are an expression of the right to freedom of assembly and expression. As such, Prides serve as a litmus test—whether a state allows and protects a marginalized, often discriminated community to hold an event such as Pride, is indicative of the health of their democracy.”

‘Love is love’

Amnesty International has also criticized the draft with the human rights group Europe Director, Nils Muižnieks, calling on Polish lawmakers “to recognize that love is love, and reject this hateful proposal which is discriminatory to its core.”

“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,” Muižnieks added.

The proposal to ban Pride events is just but part of a growing attack on LGBTIQ equality and rights in Poland. In 2019-2020, around 100 municipal and provincial areas in Poland declared themselves “LGBT-free zones” in defiance of European Union diversity policies.

Several Pride events across the country have faced attacks and administrative barriers, including Rainbow Friday events supporting LGBTIQ youth in schools.

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One thought on “Polish MPs Advance Bill to Ban Pride Events

  1. Christopher Snow

    Ban and boycott Polish imports. And to my Polish gay brothers, I say “Fight and Kick Ass for your Liberty and Rights”. Fuck this ultra-conservative bullshit. It’s all fear-based and stupid.

    Reply