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Poland's 'LGBT-free zones': Open letter calling for end to hate in country signed by 50 diplomats

Amazing.

2020-09-28

Diplomats from 50 countries have called for an end to LGBTQ discrimination in Poland.

The move follows a surge in anti-LGBTQ sentiment in the European Union member state, where some towns have this year been declared 'LGBT-free zones.'

Taking the form of an open letter signed by ambassadors for the UK, the US, India, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and more, the appeal follows the cancellation of the Warsaw Equality Parade due to coronavirus.

The letter has been shared here.

"We pay tribute to the hard work of LGBTI and other communities in Poland"

It states: "Although due to epidemiological circumstances the 2020 Warsaw Equality Parade could not take place at the foreseen date we express our support for the efforts to raise public awareness of issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and other communities in Poland facing similar challenges."

It elsewhere reads: "We affirm the inherent dignity of each individual as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"Respect for these fundamental rights, which are also enshrined in OSCE commitments and the obligations and standards of the Council of Europe and the European Union as communities of rights and values, obliges governments to protect all citizens from violence and discrimination and to ensure they enjoy equal opportunities.

"To this end, and in particular to shield communities in need of protection from verbal and physical abuse and hate speech, we need to jointly work on an environment of non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual acceptance.

"This includes in particular sectors such as education, health, social affairs, citizenship, public service and public documents.

"We pay tribute to the hard work of LGBTI and other communities in Poland and around the world, as well as the work of all those who seek to ensure human rights for LGBTI and other persons belonging to communities facing similar challenges, and to end discrimination in particular on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"Human rights are universal and everyone, including LGBTI persons, are entitled to their full enjoyment."

The letter was coordinated by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Poland.

Polish president Andrzej Duda has said LGBT ideology is more "destructive" than that of communism (Picture: Wikimedia) 

"Even more destructive"

In an index published in May, the ILGA-Europe named Poland the worst-performing country in the EU in terms of LGBT rights.

In a campaign speech in June, Polish President Andrzej Duda said his parents struggled against communist ideology for decades, adding they "didn't fight for this so that a new ideology [LGBT rights] would appear that is even more destructive."

"I’m proud to be a signatory of this letter"

An ambassador is an accredited diplomat sent by a state as its permanent representative in a foreign country. It was announced in July that Ms Anna Clunes OBE was to be appointed the UK Ambassador to the Republic of Poland.

Clunes today tweeted: "Human rights are universal. I’m proud to be a signatory of this letter on behalf of [the UK]."