Towards an “LGBT-Free” Poland?


In the years following the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the Third Polish Republic quickly rose as one of the most promising democracies and market economies in Eastern Europe. However, Poland’s remarkable economic and political liberalization has not led to commensurate progress for more complex social issues, particularly LGBTQIA+ rights. The illiberal face of democratic Poland is reflected in the presidency of Andrzej Duda, who was elected in the spring of 2015 amid a tide of nationalist right-wing populism. With growing institutionalized homophobia accompanying this political shift, Poland’s LGBTQIA+ community has had to contend with increasingly hostile spaces. Aside from alienating many in this community, Duda’s rise has also contributed to a wider societal aversion towards a diverse and inclusive Polish identity. Held next month, the next Polish presidential election will prove to be fateful for the country’s sexual minorities.

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