Posted on Sep 28, 2021
Three Polish regions voted on Monday to scrap resolutions, first passed in 2019, that declared them free of "LGBT ideology", The BBC reports.
It comes after the European Commission threatened to pull funding.
Almost 100 other regions passed similar anti-LGBT resolutions that year, drawing ire from the EU, which said it violated discrimination laws.
The European Commission later urged five large regions to scrap them. If they were kept in place, the commission threatened to block up to €126m in funding for their local governments.
In response, Podkarpackie, Lubelskie and Malopolskie cancelled their declarations on Monday, following the lead of another region, Swietokrzyskie, which did so last week.
Poland's justice minister has said financial pressure from the commission amounted to "blackmail".
Same-sex relationships are not legally recognised in Poland, and the country already bans same-sex couples from adopting children.
European authorities have hit back at the erosion of LGBT rights in Poland, saying that they violate EU discrimination laws.
While the resolutions were essentially symbolic and unenforceable, they have provided fresh ammunition in Poland's increasingly bitter culture war.
The resolutions have been supported by Poland's ruling right-wing Law and Justice party, and local authorities have said they are intended to protect heterosexual family values.
In Malopolskie, after a debate, councillors voted in favour of an alternative resolution to "oppose any discrimination against anyone for any reason", according to the Polish Press Agency
The resolution also declared support for "every Malopolskie family, because that is the foundation of the social system of the state state".
Bart Staszewski, a Polish LGBT activist, told the BBC that while the repeals were a positive step, more action is needed.
"Politicians are playing with us. I mean they don't want to revoke the whole resolution, they just want to replace it with another one," said Mr Staszewski.
"We have heard many disgusting things during this debate," he added. "It's clear for me that's it's not enough, that we still need to fight."
Last year Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said these areas were "humanity-free zones" and had "no place in our union".
The European Parliament voted in March to declare the whole EU an "LGBTIQ Freedom Zone". In July, the commission also announced legal action against Poland and Hungary for alleged violations of LGBT rights.
Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said his Law and Justice party was against Monday's regional repeals, and called pressure from the EU "an attack on Poland and local governments."
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