The Horrifying Campaign Against LGBTQ People in Poland—and How the U.S. Has Made It Worse

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10/10/2019

In a poll conducted last month in the lead-up to this Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Poland, Poles under 40 were asked to name what they considered the greatest threat to their country. “Among women the most popular answer was the climate crisis,” the Guardian reported. Among men, however, “it was ‘gender ideology and the LGBT movement.’ ” Such a specific response, completely out of tune with the actual problems Poland faces, points to the insidious reach of Poland’s far-right populist government led by Jarosław Kaczyński’s Law and Justice Party, or PiS, and how successfully its message has broken through, especially among younger men, rural voters, and residents of poorer eastern Poland. Populist nationalism is an ideology of shifting enemies, and going into this weekend’s vote, which PiS looks set to win in a landslide, Kaczyński’s party chose neither migrants nor the European Union to demonize. Instead, it went after LGBTQ people.

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