Wall Street Journal: LGBT Rights Are Flashpoint in Culture War Dividing Europe’s East and West

LGBT Rights Are Flashpoint in Culture War Dividing Europe’s East and West


TUCHÓW, Poland—Last year, this small Polish town near the eastern edge of the European Union passed a resolution proclaiming itself a “municipality free of LGBT ideology.” In July, the EU responded by stripping funding for a program connecting Tuchów with a sister city in France.

For EU authorities, Tuchów had violated a fundamental right not to be discriminated against based on sexual orientation or gender, something protected in the bloc’s treaties and high-court case law. Some locals here, in a stronghold of Poland’s newly re-elected President Andrzej Duda, don’t see it that way.

In Poland, the governing Law and Justice party has adopted strident antigay rhetoric. Mr. Duda has called homosexuality a “neo-Bolshevik plague.”

“We don’t feel safe,” said Bart Staszewski, a prominent Polish LGBT activist. “We feel like second-class citizens because the entire state apparatus is being used to prove that we are that enemy.”

On Sunday, supporters of a far-right party staged a protest using the slogan “Stop the LGBT aggression” outside Warsaw University, chanting slogans and burning a rainbow flag. Police kept them separate from LGBT activists, some of whom had written lawyers’ telephone numbers on their forearms following police detentions of activists earlier this month…

Read more at Wall Street Journal here

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