Joe Biden has spoken out against Polish localities’ declarations that they are “LGBT-free zones.”
The Democratic presidential nominee tweeted about the issue Sunday, stating that “LGBTQ+ rights are human rights” and sharing an Associated Press story about European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s condemnation of such zones.
Municipal and regional governments of areas representing about a third of Poland’s population have made such declarations, which are not legally binding but definitely show hostility to LGBTQ+ people.
Last year, for instance, legislators in the region of Malopolska, which encircles Krakow, adopted a resolution expressing “firm opposition to the emerging public activities aimed at promoting the ideology of LGBT movements” and saying these activities are “oriented at the annihilation of values shaped by the centuries-old heritage of Christianity,” the AP reports.
That sentiment has much support in the heavily Roman Catholic country. This year the nation reelected President Andrzej Duda, who ran on a homophobic and transphobic platform, to a second five-year term; he has called the LGBTQ+ movement more dangerous than communism. And Catholic bishops in the nation have called for “clinics” to be set up to help LGBTQ+ people “regain their natural sexual orientation.”
In December the European Parliament, part of the European Union’s government, issued a condemnation of “LGBT-free zones” and demanded that they be revoked. Last month the European Commission, the executive branch of the E.U. government, cut funding for six cities that have made these proclamations.
Von der Leyen has frequently denounced the anti-LGBTQ+ moves in Poland. The story that Biden tweeted covered her first State of the Union address, in which she said that “LGBT-free zones” are “humanity-free zones” and “have no place in our union.” She didn’t mention Poland, but she was clearly referring to the nation. She also promised moves to advance LGBTQ+ rights throughout the E.U.
Biden has pledged to make LGBTQ+ rights around the world a priority of his administration. “As President, Biden will restore the United States’ standing as a global leader defending LGBTQ+ rights and development and work closely with our partners and like-minded governments to ensure that violence and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals do not go unchecked,” his platform states.