The European Parliament has adopted a Resolution to make the European Union an ‘LGBTIQ freedom zone’. The declaration was intended as a reaction to ‘LGBT free zones’ that supposedly exist in Poland. The Resolution was adopted as a result of leftist activists and Polish MEPs manipulating other members of the European Parliament. Prior to the debate, the Ordo Iuris Institute submitted to the MEPs a memorandum on, inter alia, the actual situation of persons with homosexual inclinations and gender identity disorders in Poland.
Despite the intensive disinformation campaign, 141 MEPs voted against and 46 abstained from voting. Some MEPs openly referred to the debate and Resolution as the spreading of propaganda (Jaak Madison) and attacking Poland for having the courage to defend its right to self-determination (Nicola Procaccini). Their opinions are backed by OECD statistics presented by MEP Ryszard Legutko, according to which hate crimes against individuals who identify themselves with the LGBT movement are much less frequent in Poland than in other European States (the Netherlands – 574 cases, Germany – 248, Belgium – 163, Poland – 16, Lithuania – 2).
Although PE Resolutions are not binding, being mere political declarations of MEPs, they can jeopardise the good name of Poland. Prior to the debate, the MEPs received from Ordo Iuris a memorandum and source documents, including an official letter stating that Norway had not withdrawn funds under the Norwegian funding instrument from municipalities implementing the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family. A comprehensive report enclosed to the memorandum presents the actual situation of persons with homosexual inclinations or gender identity disorders in Poland.
The wording of the Resolution is manipulative and contains untrue information. Apart from the repeated lies about the alleged existence of ‘LGBT free zones’ in Poland, multiple MEPs expressed their criticism of the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family, which was also mentioned many times in the Resolution itself. According to the EP, the charter “discriminates against LGBT people”. In fact, the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family does not make any references to the LGBT or gender ideology. The Charter is a programme statement based on the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and international laws intended to implement measures to better safeguard the principles and values expressed in the Constitution. Most importantly, it concerns the right to raise children in accordance with one’s own beliefs, to protect the autonomy and identity of the family, to support families by making family-friendly laws and pro-family policies. The Ordo Iuris Institute supplied MEPs with the text of the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family in English – nonetheless, some of them decided to vote in favour of the Resolution that condemns the Charter and the municipalities that implement it. Importantly, the Charter was also condemned by Polish MEPs: Robert Biedroń, Leszek Miller, Sylwia Spurek, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Łukasz Kohut, Marek Belka and Andrzej Halicki. In this manner they expressed their objection to provisions stemming directly from the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. On the other hand, other MEPs, like Angel Dzhambazki from Bulgaria, spoke of the need to introduce the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family at the international level.
Another entirely false item of information in the Resolution is that Norway supposedly withdrew from granting funds to the municipalities that implement the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family, or that the European Commission rejected applications for EU funding from local government units that had adopted the Charter or resolutions opposing the dissemination of the LGBT ideology (point E of the Resolution).In fact, Norway did not withdraw any funds from municipalities implementing the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family, as the Charter is not in any way relevant to issues concerning persons with homosexual inclinations. Neither did the European Commission reject applications for EU funding on the grounds of the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family. Adoption of a Resolution ‘against the LGBT ideology’ does not disqualify a municipality from applying for funding. The Ordo Iuris Institute has already written about manipulations related to grants.
Most importantly, however, the entire manipulation and the subsequent attack on Poland is founded on a powerful disinformation that allegedly people in Poland identifying themselves with the LGBT acronym are systematically discriminated against. Meanwhile, according to studies conducted by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the situation of people who identify themselves with LGBT postulates is the same in Poland as in other European countries. In some respects, it is even better. For example, asked if they experienced negative comments or a negative attitude at school because of their belonging to one of the ‘LGBTI’ groups, 6% of the respondents said “always” and 25% – “often”, the European average being 10% and 28%, respectively. Compared to the results in other countries, Poland is at the very back of the list of places in Europe considered by respondents to be intolerant of their behaviour.
Poland is also the country with the lowest rate of school incidents of ridiculing, provoking, bullying or threatening of individuals who identify themselves with the LGBT group. 39% of respondents experienced at least one of such behaviours, whereas the EU average is 46%, and in respective countries, in the UK the rate is 57%, in Germany – 48%, in Ireland – 50%, and in Belgium – 50%.
In addition, 71% of Polish respondents stated they had no problems with access to healthcare, while the EU average was 69%. In Sweden, 65% of respondents declared to have no such problems, and in France – only 63%. This shows that in specific situations – detached from ideological stereotypes and prejudices – Poland ensures the highest level of safety to persons with homosexual inclinations or gender identity disorders.
“The allegations made in the European Parliament concerning the situation of persons with homosexual inclinations in Poland are founded on fake news. We cannot accept repeated lies and disinformation about our country. There are no ‘LGBT free zones’ or systematic discrimination in Poland, and data show that Polish society is one of the most tolerant in Europe. First and foremost, the Polish law protects everybody, regardless or orientation”, comments Anna Kubacka, analyst of the Ordo Iuris International Law Centre.
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