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Nearly a third of Poland has declared 'LGBT-free zones.' The EU is denying funds to them.

Jul 31, 2020
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Nearly a third of Poland has declared 'LGBT-free zones.' The EU is denying funds to them.Nearly a third of Poland has declared 'LGBT-free zones.' The EU is denying funds to them.

After nearly a third of Poland towns and municipalities declared “LGBT-free zones,” the European Union has stepped in and denied funding to them.

Six towns in Poland that have adopted the homophobic policies have been denied funding, according to a statement from the EU’s Commissioner for Equality.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=""EU values and fundamental rights must be respected by Member States and state authorities," said Commissioner Helena Dalli in a tweet Tuesday.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”15″>”EU values and fundamental rights must be respected by Member States and state authorities,” said Commissioner Helena Dalli in a tweet Tuesday. 

They applied for grants as part of a “town twinning” proposal, which would connect two communities in separate nations for joint partnerships. Other applicants that didn’t adopt “LGBT-free zone” policies were approved.

The news comes as sitting president Andrzej Duda won a re-election as part of the right-wing Law and Justice party. In his tenure, the nation has intensified its anti-LGBT sentiment after Duda signed a “family charter” that pledged to “ban the propagation of LGBT ideology in public institutions.” Further, he proposed an amendment that would prohibit same-sex couple adoptions.

Towns elsewhere in the EU, including France and the Netherlands, have reneged on “sister city” partnerships with Polish towns that have aligned themselves with “LGBT-free” ideologies.

Nearly a third of Poland’s 38 million residents live in zones declared by local officials as “LGBT-free,” which have no legal power but mirror a rising anti-LGBT tide in the country. 

Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro called the rejection “unlawful,” urging for a reversal from the EU Commission and arguing that the views of all citizens should be respected by the EU.

Poland joined the EU in 2004.  

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote.” data-reactid=”22″>Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘LGBT-free’ Poland towns denied EU funding: ‘Rights must be respected’” data-reactid=”23″>This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘LGBT-free’ Poland towns denied EU funding: ‘Rights must be respected’

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