Could Poland’s controversial LGBT-Free Zones finally be consigned to history?

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07/21/2023

In 2019, a wave of Polish towns and cities passed resolutions declaring themselves “LGBT-Free Zones” that at one point encompassed one-third of the country. Since then, activists and legal experts have fought to revoke or nullify these declarations, chipping away at the bloc of LGBT-Free Zones largely found in the southeastern part of the country. Significant progress has been difficult, since Poland has been facing a rule-of-law crisis going back to at least 2017, when the right-wing Law and Justice, or PiS party began spreading its influence on key bodies such as the Constitutional Court. The crisis in the judiciary runs so deep that the EU initiated Article 7 proceedings against Poland, which suspend certain rights for member states if they are deemed to persistently be in breach of the EU’s fundamental values.

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