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Polish Town That Went ‘LGBT Free’ Two Years Ago Bitterly Regrets Decision

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 11 Apr 2021 17:45
Polish Town That Went 'LGBT Free' Two Years Ago Bitterly Regrets Decisionozyp75/Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0)/PA

A town in Poland is now filled with regret, after declaring itself an LGBT-free zone two years ago.

The town of Krasnik, which is located on the southern border to Ukraine and has a population of 32,000, has been dubbed ‘a synonym for homophobia’, according to its mayor Wojciech Wilk; something which he vehemently denies is the case.

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Back in May 2019, Krasnik declared itself as being ‘free of LGBT’ in bid to appease the right-wing religious conservatives living in the area and the country’s governing right-wing Law and Justice party, as well as the Roman Catholic Church, which still bears a huge hold over Poland.

Polish Town That Went 'LGBT Free' Two Years Ago Bitterly Regrets Decisionozyp75/Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0)

While the term LGBT-free does not mean that LGBTQ+ people are banned from entering or living in the area, it does mean a commitment to keeping LGBTQ+ ideology out, with right-wing politicians threatened by the prospect of liberalism affecting traditional Christian and Polish values.

However, in the two years that have followed, Krasnik has lost millions of pounds in foreign funding, including up to €10 million the town was hoping to get in Norwegian funding for development projects, The New York Times reports. Meanwhile, a French town also opted to cut ties with Krasnik, declaring it wouldn’t work with any town which vowed to be LGBT-free.

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Now, Wilks is desperately trying to get councillors to reverse the anti-LGBT declaration in a bid to prevent the town from missing out on any future opportunities.

EU and pride flagsPA Images

He said: ‘We have become Europe’s laughingstock, and it’s the citizens not the local politicians who’ve suffered most,’ noting that local residents had been the ones to suffer at the hands of the debate over traditional and modern values.

Last month, the European Parliament passed a resolution declaring every country in the European Union – including Poland – as an LGBT Freedom Zone, in response.

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If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing on to UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, homophobia, LGBT, Poland

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New York Times
  1. New York Times

    After Going ‘Free of L.G.B.T.,’ a Polish Town Pays a Price