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Polish Region Reaffirms Anti-LGBTQ+ Zone as EU Demands Rebuke


The European Union said it will withhold billions in funding from the council if the "Anti-LGBT Zone" resolution is not revoked. 


A regional council in Poland has voted to continue to keep its status as an "LGBT-free zone" even as the European Union said it will strip the area of billions of dollars' worth of funding.

The council of Malopolska first passed the resolution in 2019. The region is located in the south and includes the nation's second-largest city of Krakow.

The EU condemned the act. In July, it began a legal case against the country. It warned that if by September the council did not revoke the resolution, the EU would not provide the 2.5 billion euros -- about $2.9 billion -- it was to give the region for local projects.

On Thursday, the council of Malopolska defied the EU and voted down an opposition motion to rebuke the resolution, reported The Independent.

The council is influenced by the country's party in power, the Law and Justice Party. The political party, critics have said, has led Poland toward authoritarianism.

Other councils have passed similar resolutions -- around 100 in the country. Those in favor of them have said it's about upholding traditional values by not promoting LGBTQ+ topics.

One of the leaders of Poland's largest leftist party and the most well-known openly gay politician in the country, Robert Bierdron, criticized the Malopolska council, reported Reuters.

"Once again, the hatred and anger of [the Law and Justice Party] turned out to be more important than the good of citizens, and they will suffer the most from this decision," he said.

The Catholic Church has backed the council.

"Freedom has its price. This price includes honor. Freedom can't be bought with money," Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski said in a church service last Sunday, local media reported.

The president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, used anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric on the presidential campaign trail last year. Duda's father, Jan Duda, is head of the Malopolska council.

In 2020, the Polish president told a crowd that "LGBT is not people, it's an ideology." Duda compared LGBTQ+ people to communists, saying that his parents didn't fight against communism only to have another "ideology" emerge that "is even more destructive to the human being."

Poland is considered to be the most anti-LGBTQ+ country in the EU, according to ILGA-Europe. The organization tracks LGBTQ+ rights in Europe and Central Asia and produces a yearly ranking based on policies affecting LGBTQ+ people.

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