Last Sunday, the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, was re-elected by a narrow margin with the help of an assault on what he styled “LGBT ideology”: he campaigned on a “family charter” to protect Poles from this new threat, worse than communism. Two of Poland’s near neighbours have recently activated anti-LGBT politics in similar ways. In May, Viktor Orbán’s Hungarian government passed a law that makes it impossible for trans people to change their gender on legal documents. And last month, Russians voted by a landslide to approve Vladimir Putin’s Russian constitution: among its many amendments is one that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Already, Russia’s lawmakers are explicitly using the new constitution to threaten freedoms associated with the liberal west: on Tuesday, Yelena Mizulina, the woman responsible for Russia’s anti-“gay propaganda” law, proposed legislation barring trans people from adopting children, or from establishing families – including getting married – after transitioning.