Their actions run counter to the laws and values of the EU.
“E.U. values and fundamental rights must be respected by the Member States and state authorities,” Helena Dalli, the EU commissioner for equality, wrote on Twitter. “The Polish authorities that adopted ‘LGBT-free zones’ or ‘family rights’ resolutions failed to protect those rights”.
A few months ago, a hundred Polish cities declared themselves “L.G.B.T.-free zones”.
And it’s not the Polish government that’s going to do anything for the LGBTQ community.
Sadly, former president Andrzej Duda was re-elected for another term and he is openly anti-LGBTQ, and so are his policies. Duda’s speeches are often LGBTQphobic and he’s used to reiterating his opposition to equal marriage and adoption.
Poland is currently the most LGBTQphobic country in Europe.
The EU Sanctions
Until now, the European Union has opposed anti-LGBTQ positions taken by its members, but without imposing sanctions.
It is difficult to know what motivated it to act this time.
Perhaps it was the serious violence LGBTQ people suffered during last year’s Pride March in the city of Bialystok.
So, for the first time, the EU is about to sanction six cities in Poland that have previously declared themselves as “free from L.G.B.T. ideology”.
The cities and municipalities had applied for a grant between $6,000 (5,000 euros) and $29,000 (25,000 euros) under the twinning program of Europe for Citizens project.
The sanction excluded them from this program so they won’t get the money.
Even though the amount is derisory, this sanction is welcome.
It remains to be seen whether the EU will continue to pursue this trend and punish other European countries or cities with anti-LGBTQ tendencies.