News

2020.09.28 15:58

Protect Poland's LGBT community, urge diplomats from 50 countries including Lithuania

Deutsche Welle2020.09.28 15:58

Ambassadors from 50 countries including Lithuania wrote the appeal in an open letter amid a worsening situation for the LGBTQ+ community in the country. A Polish lawmaker hit back, claiming all were protected under Polish law.

Ambassadors to Poland from some 50 countries and international organisations worldwide called on Poland to support its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTQ+) community, in an open letter published late on Sunday.

The appeal comes as the LGBTQ+ community in the country faces increasing threats from the right-wing government, local communities and the Catholic church.

Lawmakers and President Andrzej Duda have openly criticised LGBTQ+ communities and accused them of threatening traditional families.

Read more: Moral panics, folk devils and elections in Eastern Europe

"Human rights are universal and everyone, including LGBTQ+ persons, are entitled to their full enjoyment,'' the ambassadors wrote.

"Respect for these fundamental rights [...] obliges governments to protect all citizens from violence and discrimination and to ensure they enjoy equal opportunities."

The ambassadors also paid tribute to the awareness-raising work of the LGBTQ+ community in Poland.

The signatories include top diplomats from many European Union countries, including Germany, as well as those from further afield, such as Japan and Australia.

Georgette Mosbacher, the United States ambassador to Poland, posted the open letter on her Twitter feed.

Poland hits back

Poland's deputy foreign minister, Pawel Jablonski, replied to the open letter in a tweet, saying the Polish government fully agrees with its message and that "every human being enjoys an equal level of protection under Polish law".

He added a "reminder" that "according to the Polish Constitution, marriage is a union of a woman and a man".

Jablonski said that LGBT-free zones – referring to the dozens of towns that have passed resolutions declaring their communities to be LGBTQ+ free – were "fake news" and did not exist.

Read more: Some 500 people rally for LGBT rights in Vilnius – photos