Screenshot via YouTube @Polish Gay Pride marchers defy stone-throwing hooligans | AFP
Poland is becoming an increasingly hostile place for LGBTQ people.
Bialystok, Poland had its first gay pride, but the 1,000 people decorated in rainbow colors were unfortunately met with thousands of anti-LGBTQ protesters. And some were more violent than others. This is a far cry from Poland’s first pride which was in Parada Rownosci in Warsaw last year, attracting over 50,000 people and happening without any major incidents.
As the march went by, it passed signs and shouts comparing gay people to pedophiles. One section of the day even included stoning by some of the hateful onlookers. Despite all that, Pride marchers pressed on in silent protest before later getting louder with celebration as the angry backlash quieted down.
Unfortunately, this scene mimics the growing tension in Poland between the growing rights movement and the conservative backlash, according to the Independent. Even worse, the country’s ruling political party has chosen to support these violent anti-gay protesters.
The Law and Justice party has decided to make fighting the “Western LGBT ideology” their main focus. Jarloslaw Kaczyński, the leader of the party, preaches that teaching LGBTQ issues in schools is “an attack on the family” and “an attack on children.” He believes that “LGBT ideology” is an imported “threat to Polish identity, to our nation, to its existence and thus to the Polish state.”
Members of the Law and Justice campaign have thus started a new campaign to declare certain cities and providences as “LGBT-ideology free.” To push this idea, they have created a campaign symbol of an umbrella, with the party logo, protecting a family from rainbow rain.
Despite Paweł Jabłoński, an adviser to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, stating that these “free city” declarations have “no actual meaning in terms of regulations,” there is certainly a powerful social aspect.
The Law and Justice party is feeding into homophobia and violent aggression that will surely create a more hostile and turbulent country. Poland is in the midst of a war started by conservative people, and, unfortunately, that means LGBTQ people of Poland will find fewer and fewer friends among their neighbors.