COPENHAGEN, 22 June 2020 – Following an increase in discriminatory rhetoric targeting LGBT communities in Poland, including at the highest levels of politics and society, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly human rights leaders expressed deep concern at the increasing intolerance LGBT individuals face in the country.
“Anti-gay and anti-trans discrimination is far too prevalent throughout the OSCE region, but actions in Poland in recent months represent a worrying deterioration in intolerant behaviour,” said Kyriakos Hadjiyianni (Cyprus), Chair of the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions.
In the past year a number of localities in Poland have passed resolutions declaring themselves to be free from LGBT ‘ideology’ and ‘against LGBT propaganda,’ according to media reports.
“Efforts by politicians to demonize respect for LGBT rights as a destructive ‘ideology,’ and the declarations of so-called ‘LGBT-free zones’ are blatant manifestations of hate and have no place in our societies,” said Vice-Chair Michael Link (Germany). “These actions against LGBT communities in Poland are an unfortunate reminder of the intolerance that exists in many of our countries, and a reminder of why our work to promote human rights for all must continue.”
“Human rights are indivisible and should not depend on who you love,” said Vice-President and Rapporteur Kari Henriksen (Norway). “I’m reassured that within the OSCE PA we have a strong network of political leaders proud to support the rights of LGBT persons. I take this opportunity to reiterate our call upon parliaments of all OSCE countries to introduce the necessary legislation to fully ensure the protection and promotion of the rights of LGBT individuals.”
In the OSCE PA’s Luxembourg Declaration of July last year, parliamentarians expressed concern about “the continued, and in some countries worsening, discrimination and hostility towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons in the OSCE region, recognizing that their rights, including the elimination of all discrimination against them, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to family life, are indivisible human rights, and stressing that the OSCE PA fully supports the rights of LGBTI persons.”