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"Sexual orientation has become a polarising issue in Polish society"

Delegates from the Council of Europe have said that they are “concerned” for gay people’s rights and safety in Poland after a fact-finding mission in the country found that some local and regional authorities had adopted so-called “anti-LGBT ideology”.

In a statement they wrote,

“Sexual orientation has become a polarising issue in Polish society; this is also increasingly reflected in local and regional authorities, some of which have adopted so-called “anti-LGBTI ideology” resolutions and declarations, and family charters” noted the members of the Congress delegation.

They added, “We are concerned about the negative impact this situation has on LGBTI people’s lives, rights and safety”.

Fact-finding

On 2 and 3 November 2020, the delegation gathered facts and insight from the government, parliamentarians, the ombudsman, local and regional authorities and their associations, and NGOs.

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Referring to the European Convention on Human Rights ratified by Poland in 1993, the delegation recalled that Article 14 expressly prohibits discrimination on all grounds and protects everyone including LGBT+ people.

“Local authorities have a crucial role in upholding citizens’ rights as well as promoting dialogue and social cohesion”, they stressed.

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A report on the fact-finding mission will be submitted to the Congress and other Council of Europe institutions and the findings will serve for the preparation of a report on “the role and responsibilities of local authorities in the protection of LGBTI people” to be considered by the Congress early 2021.