LGBTQ-friendly schools ranking defies Poland’s rights crackdown

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09/29/2022

WARSAW, Sept 29 (Openly) – Polish teacher Maria Kistowska felt a burst of pride when her school came top in a new LGBTQ+ inclusion ranking that seeks to challenge the nationalist ruling party’s curbs on gay and transgender rights. “This sends out the message that we’re LGBTQ+ allies, and it tells kids (that) there’s a place where you can feel safe,” Kistowska, 37, who teaches English at a school in the western city of Poznan, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Success is when you support your students,” she said. Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) party has made anti-gay policies a pillar of its governing platform, and the nation now ranks at the bottom of the 27-member EU on legal protections for LGBTQ+ people, according to advocacy group ILGA-Europe. But LGBTQ+ advocates hope the school survey initiative, the work of a 22-year-old gay rights campaigner, will show that not all Poles have homophobic views.

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