page contents Poland re-elects president who creates 'dangerous' society for gays, advocates say – The News Headline

Poland re-elects president who creates 'dangerous' society for gays, advocates say

Polish President Andrzej Duda, a conservative with the ruling Legislation and Justice celebration who ran on an anti-LGBTQ platform, narrowly gained a 2nd, five-year time period in a bitterly fought weekend election, defeating the liberal Warsaw mayor, consistent with a near-complete depend of votes.

Human rights and LGBTQ advocates warned that Duda’s victory may just sign a brand new attack on human rights, whilst his razor-thin margin of victory presentations how politically polarized Poland has transform — in particular over LGBTQ problems, consistent with Rafal Pankowski, a sociology professor on the Collegium Civitas in Warsaw.

“It’s slightly necessary to fret — it used to be an excessively shut race,” Pankowski mentioned. “The polarization may be very, very robust, to the purpose the place family and friends — inside of households — other folks forestall speaking to one another.”

Polish president Andrzej Duda talks to the media after the announcement of the primary go out ballot leads to Warsaw, Poland, July 12, 2020.Aleksandra Szmigiel / Reuters

The prime voter turnout throughout a deadly disease mirrored the election’s massive stakes and the deep cultural divisions on this Ecu Union country. Even prior to Duda’s win, Poland’s divide over LGBTQ problems used to be on world show when a homosexual flesh presser named Robert Biedron ran in an previous spherical of Poland’s presidential election, drawing comparisons to former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s U.S. number one run.

All the way through his first time period, Duda made headlines for announcing LGBTQ ideology used to be worse than communism — feedback he later walked again — and throughout this marketing campaign he pledged to prohibit same-sex marriage and LGBTQ adoption rights.

Pankowski mentioned that one homophobic catchphrase got here to dominate Duda’s marketing campaign: “LGBT aren’t other folks” — a shorthand model of an extended word that embroiled a Legislation and Justice member of parliament after he uttered it on TV: “LGBT aren’t other folks, they’re an ideology.”

When Duda later mentioned he supported the embattled lawmaker and repeated the word at a political rally, Pankowski mentioned, “I feel that used to be the best stage enforcement of homophobic hate speech shall we believe — and it used to be now not a one-off factor.”

Philippe Dam, Human Rights Watch’s advocacy director for Europe and Central Asia, mentioned that Duda’s first time period drove polarization across the problems of ladies’s rights, sexual rights and LGBTQ problems extra most often, all of which “transfer clear of EU rules.”

“Even the rhetoric of native administrations organising LGBT-free zones, the affect of the rhetoric utilized by the candidate for president, truly created a context of demonization of LGBT other folks,” Dam mentioned. “And that itself is truly unhealthy in a contemporary society.”

So-called LGBT-free zones — a conservative effort to go nonbinding resolutions opposing “LGBT ideology” — have now been established in cities and municipalities protecting more or less a 3rd of Poland’s house, consistent with Pankowski. Those “zones” had been additionally publicized via Gazeta Polska, a proper wing tabloid supportive of the Legislation and Justice celebration, within the type of stickers integrated with problems final 12 months.

Final month, within the warmth of the presidential election, Poland’s Jewish leaders condemned the expansion of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, announcing, “We Jews — the descendants of Holocaust survivors — can not and won’t stay detached to phrases that might dehumanize LGBT individuals.”

Additionally in June, Duda won an obvious endorsement from President Donald Trump with a last-minute White Space seek advice from, throughout which Trump praised the Polish chief, announcing, “He’s doing an amazing activity. The folks of Poland suppose the sector of him.”

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Marketing campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy crew, condemned Duda’s White Space seek advice from on the time, calling it “a transparent and unambiguous try to leverage Trump’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric within the Polish elections.”

Pankowski, who could also be a member of Poland’s By no means Once more human rights crew, mentioned that Duda’s celebration exploits homophobia as a political weapon.

“In many ways it used to be a cynical calculation,” Pankowski mentioned of Duda popping out in opposition to same-sex marriage — a political factor so debatable as not to also be into account in Poland. “I feel in some way the ones problems had been artificially put at the time table in an effort to create polarization.”

Pawel Knut, a Polish human rights legal professional, wrote in an op-ed for NBC Information THINK that Duda’s campaigning in opposition to LGBTQ problems is “in particular efficient in distracting public opinion and redirecting consideration from different extra necessary issues.”

“A up to date instance of this technique happened in April, when in the course of the primary wave of the pandemic, Legislation and Justice rapidly presented a invoice in parliament referred to as the ‘Forestall Pedophilia Act,’ which proposed penalizing contributors of the ‘LGBT foyer’ for offering dependable intercourse training,” Knut wrote.

“The invoice brought about slightly a media stir, diverting public consideration from COVID-related issues,” he persevered. “It sooner or later was buried in parliamentary committees, its propaganda project whole.”

Duda’s 2nd time period runs till 2025.

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The Related Press contributed.

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