New foundation seeks to help LGBT rights movement in Poland

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06/01/2021

A Nobel laureate, a Netflix star and a fashion model are among the board members who helped launch an initiative Tuesday to raise money for LGBT rights groups in Poland, where gay men, lesbians, and bisexual and transgender people face a backlash from the country’s conservative government and Catholic Church. The Equaversity Foundation plans to seek international donations to fund organizations working on the ground in Poland. Activists with the foundation say the help is needed to counter homophobic rhetoric from the highest levels of Poland’s government and from Catholic leaders. “We can’t count on aid from within the country,” said model Anja Rubik, who is one of the board members. Along with Rubik, the foundation’s board includes Nobel-winning Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, film director Agnieszka Holland and Antoni Porowski, a Polish-Canadian cook who is one of the stars of the Netflix show “Queer Eye.” During an online conference Tuesday, several initiators described the new foundation as a way to push back against a rising tide of anti-LGBT discrimination that they view as part of a wider assault on democratic values in Poland, a nation wedged between Western Europe and eastern autocracies.

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