CALL FOR ACTION – The EU as an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone”
BRIEFING NOTE: Declaration of the EU as an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone”
Background information (Call for Action below)
Since 2019, several municipalities, regions and counties in Poland have adopted declarations on being free of “LGBT-ideology” or Regional Charters of Family Values. These initiatives, the so-called ‘LGBTI-free zones’, led to increased scapegoating of LGBTI persons in Poland, namely during last year’s Presidential election campaign.
On 26 March 2019, the Świdnik County adopted the first declaration on being free of LGBTI ideology.
The adoption of this declaration was followed by several others which are documented in the Atlas of Hate website. Regional Charters of Family Values, which do not expressly mention LGBTI ideology, but which hint at similar political motivation, have been adopted by several other local authorities.
On 11 December 2019, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on public discrimination and hate speech against LGBTI people, including LGBTI free zones.
Among others, the resolution: condemned the incidents of hate speech and crime, condemned any kind of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics called on the Commission and Council to to use all the tools and procedures at their disposal to ensure the full and proper application of Treaty principles and values such as infringement procedures, budgetary procedures, the rule of law mechanism and the Article 7 procedure, including those ongoing;
The FRA LGBTI Survey II, published in May 2020, showed that the situation has turned increasingly dire for LGBTI persons in Poland. The results highlight an increase in intolerance and violence towards LGBTI persons and a complete disbelief by respondents at the government’s efforts to effectively combat prejudice and intolerance against them, recording the lowest percentage in the EU (only 4 % deem them effective).
The European Parliament adopted on 17 September a report on the situation of the rule of law in Poland and the ongoing infringement procedures under Article 7 TEU.
The report addressed also the human rights of LGBTI persons, in particular, hate speech, the context of the 2020 presidential campaign, the so-called “LGBTI-free zones”, the cutting of funds to some regions that adopted such declarations, the “Polish Stonewall” mass arrests of activists and the calls from the Polish Episcopate for so-called “conversion therapy” practices. The LGBTI Intergroup’s support was crucial to ensure inclusion of different key issues for LGBTI activists and NGOs.
To mark the 2-year anniversary of the first Polish resolution against “LGBTI ideology”, or so-called “LGBTI-free zone” in Świdnik County, the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup initiated a debate and vote in the European Parliament on a resolution, which declares the EU to be instead an “LGBTIQ freedom zone”.
This resolution is a signal to all LGBTIQ persons, organisations and activists that the European Parliament stands by their side and advocates for their rights. It is equally a signal to elected politicians, governments and decision-makers that discrimination against LGBTIQ persons in any way or form does not comply with European values.
The debate will take place on Wednesday 10 March 2021, the vote on Thursday 11 March 2021. The debate will be streamed in this page: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/home.html
The result of the vote will be available on this page: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/votes.html
We expect that the resolution will be adopted with a vast majority.
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