The bigots creating ‘gay-free zones’
Having largely fulfilled its pledge to bar Muslim migrants from the country, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party has found a new way to fire up supporters: gay bashing, said Ewa Siedlecka. The new focus began as a backlash to Warsaw’s liberal mayor, Rafal Trzaskowski, who wants LGBT issues to be addressed in school sex education classes. Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski called the plan an “attack on the family,” denouncing “LGBT ideology” as a threat to Polish identity. Now 30 cities and districts controlled by the party have declared themselves LGBT-free zones. The bigots aren’t prevailing everywhere: When the right-wing weekly Gazeta Polska included “LGBT-free zone” stickers in a recent issue, a distribution company refused to deliver the magazines, saying the stickers fueled discrimination. Enraged government supporters are calling this a “violation of free speech.” That’s pure bunk—it’s doubtful Law and Justice supporters would champion a magazine’s right to distribute “Catholic-free zone” stickers. If anything is being violated, it’s Poland’s anti-discrimination laws. Still, it’s futile to hope that government-appointed prosecutors will act. If they’re willing to turn a blind eye to far-right marchers singing “Zionists will be hanging from the trees instead of leaves,” as they did two years ago, then they won’t do much about this, either.