Poland: LGBT+ activists and nationalists face off

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08/17/2020

Hundreds of Polish nationalists and defenders of gay rights faced off in central Warsaw on Sunday, amid a deteriorating situation for the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) community. Both groups shouted abuse at each other in front of Warsaw University’s main gate. A line of police officers separated them. The nationalists burnt a rainbow flag — the symbol of LGBT+ social movements, while the LGBT+ demonstrators and supporters painted one on the street. Recently, 48 gay-rights activists and supporters were detained after protesting the arrest of an activist — accused of hanging rainbow flags over statues in Warsaw. Gay rights was a divisive issue in the recent presidential election campaign. Incumbent president, Andrzej Duda – an ally of the ruling far-right Law and Justice Party (PiS) — compared what he called LGBT “ideology” to communist doctrine during his campaign, sparking criticism.

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