LGBTQ Stances Cost 6 Cities in Poland

Grant applications are rejected over hostile declarations by communities
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2020 5:09 PM CDT
EU Penalizes 6 Cities Over LGBTQ Hostility
Protesters carry a rainbow flag during a demonstration against LGBTQ discrimination last month in Warsaw.   (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

The European Union promised to reconsider where its money goes last year after 80 municipalities in Poland declared they were "free of LGBT ideology." That shoe began to fall this week when the EU rejected grants for six of the cities, Euronews reports, and clearly said why. "EU values and fundamental rights must be respected by member states and public authorities," the EU's equality commissioner tweeted. "This is why six town twinning applications involving Polish authorities that adopted 'LGBTI free zones' or 'family rights' resolutions were rejected." The names of the cities were not released. Eight other cities in Poland—and another 119 applications in the EU—were awarded funding. The grants involve the Europe for Citizens project, which fosters debate on EU policies.

Poland's government was not accepting of the decision. "We will not allow discrimination of Polish citizens and local governments by the European Union," the justice minister posted online. "The Union must respect the equality of all its citizens, who have the right to form their opinions and beliefs freely." The widespread actions in Poland were backed by local politicians from the ruling Conservative Law and Justice party. By now, per Balkan Insight, one-third of Poland has declared that those who aren't heterosexual and are otherwise not in conformity with the "natural family” movement are not welcome. Residents of the village of Konskowola said earlier this month that EU pressure wouldn't change its policy. "Is this what European tolerance is about? I don’t think so,” one man said, per Reuters. "I cannot imagine we would yield to blackmail." (More Poland stories.)

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