LGBT activists welcome rainbow light show in Poland, say more action needed

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11/16/2020

LGBT rights have been a flashpoint in Poland over the last two years, with politicians tied to the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party and senior members of the Catholic Church arguing against what they term “LGBT ideology”. Last week liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, along with several other city mayors, pledged to illuminate buildings with rainbow colours to mark the International Day for Tolerance. To many religious conservatives in predominantly Catholic Poland, Trzaskowski represented a threat to traditional values when he signed an “LGBT+ Charter” pledging, for example, to introduce education about LGBT rights in Warsaw schools. But LGBT+ activists say Trzaskowski has not fulfilled the promises he made, which included creating a shelter for young LGBT+ people who became homeless after coming out to their families. “This is obviously a symbolic gesture and we welcome it when it comes from mayors of smaller cities and smaller towns,” said Hubert Sobecki, an activist with a non-governmental organisation Love does not exclude. “We expect more from someone who … pledged to do something tangible for the community,” he said, adding that two years after the “LGBT+ Charter” was signed “there was absolutely no action from the municipality”.

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