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Polish appeals court orders four towns to scrap 'LGBT-free' declarations

post on Facebook.Dozens of Polish towns and regions had declared themselves free of "LGBT ideology" in May 2019, sparking a dispute with the European Commission.Poland's ruling conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) claims that the so-called "LGBT ideology" undermines the country's religious family values.But the bloc slammed Warsaw for violating EU laws against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and withheld funding to several Polish regions.After a legal challenge from Poland's Human Rights Ombudsman, lower courts ruled that nine such "LGBT-free" resolutions must be scrapped, a decision upheld by the appeals court on Tuesday.Last year, the regional assembly of Świętokrzyskie became the first in Poland to revoke its anti-LGBT resolution.The EU Parliament has also passed its own resolution last year, declaring the entire 27-member EU a “freedom zone” for LGBT+ people.

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'Not a celebration': In the midst of war, Kyiv's Pride parade held in Warsaw
Ukraine's largest LGBTQ+ event KyivPride went ahead on Saturday, although not on the streets of the country's capital. Russia's invasion of Ukraine saw the event taking place together with Warsaw's annual Equality Parade.About 300 people travelled from Ukraine to the Polish capital, now home to about quarter-million Ukrainians who fled the war. Blue-and-yellow flags fluttered among a sea of rainbow ones, while some participants chanted “Slava Ukraini," or glory to Ukraine.“Unfortunately, we cannot march in Kyiv,” Maksym Eristavi, a Ukrainian journalist and a KyivPride board member, said, citing the dangers of bombings in Ukraine.“However, it's important for us to still march," said Eristavi, who was draped in both the Ukrainian and European Union flags. "It's still about pride, but pride in being Ukrainian and surviving through genocide."KyivPride’s trucks were given the honour of leading Saturday's parade -- one of many ways that Poland's people have stepped up to help their embattled Ukrainian neighbours.“We want to stand together against war, to walk for Ukraine’s freedom, for liberation, for equality, tolerance and acceptance,” Julia Maciocha, chairperson of Warsaw’s Equality Parade, said.KyivPride director Lenny Emson said this year's event was aimed at calling for political support for Ukraine and basic human rights.“It is not a celebration," Emson said.