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Polish parliament sends draft bill banning Pride for further work in committees

The draft bill stipulates that any event that questions marriage as a relationship between a woman and a man or propagates the extension of marriage to persons of the same sex should not be allowed.

Photo by Tomasz Filipek from Unsplash.com

The Polish parliament voted to send a bill proposing to ban Pride marches and other events promoting LGBTQIA equality for further work in committees. The draft bill stipulates that any event that questions marriage as a relationship between a woman and a man or propagates the extension of marriage to persons of the same sex should not be allowed. 

This proposal came from a conservative anti-LGBTQIA and anti-abortion group, called “Life and Family Foundation”, that was able to collect over 140,000 signatures in support of the draft bill. With the bill sent to the committees, its legality will then be assessed. 

Pride events, known in Poland as Equality Marches, have been taking place in the country in growing numbers since 2000. In 2019, the Equality March in Warsaw was attended by 50,000 people, with a record 20 Pride events taking place in the country then. 

The proposal to ban Pride is part of the continuing attack on LGBTQIA equality in Poland. Between mid-2019 and mid-2020, approximately 100 municipal and provincial areas there declared themselves to be “LGBT-free zones”.

According to Maria Sjödin, acting executive director of OutRight Action International: “This is a very dark day in Poland, not only for LGBTQIA people, but for Polish society as a whole. Prides are a crucial element of the movement for LGBTQIA equality, and, moreover, they are an expression of the right to freedom of assembly and expression. As such, Prides serve as a litmus test – whether or not a state allows and protects a marginalized, often discriminated community to hold an event such as Pride, is indicative of the health of their democracy. Poland is failing that test today. We call on the relevant Parliamentary committee to reject the proposed bill in its entirety.”

In a recent briefing on Pride Around the World issued by OutRight Action International, Pride events take place in 102 countries around the world. But even in places with a history of Pride events, they are facing an increasing backlash.

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