WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A region in southern Poland revoked an anti-LGBT resolution Wednesday under the threat of losing European Union funding.
The regional assembly of Swietokrzyskie voted in a special session to revoke the resolution, first passed in 2019, that stated “opposition to the attempts to introduce LGBT ideology to local government communities and the promotion of this ideology in public life.”
The measure also declared “deep disapproval and strong opposition to the attempts by liberal political and social circles to promote an ideology based on LGBT affirmation, which are in clear contradiction to the cultural heritage and centuries-old Christian traditions not only of the … region but also of Poland and Europe.”
Swietokrzyskie is the first area of Poland to rescind such a measure after many were passed in areas that have colloquially known as an “LGBT-free zones.”
Its move came after the country’s government asked authorities in several regions to revoke their largely symbolic anti-LGBT resolutions.
The appeal marked a reversal for the conservative government after the EU put on hold millions of euros of funding to the regions. Members of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice, party had supported the resolutions, which local communities said were intended to protect families based on unions of a man and a woman.
The anti-LGBT resolutions were part of a backlash against an increasingly visible gay rights movement in Poland. Rights activists said the “LGBT-free” designations made gays and lesbians feel unwelcome.
LGBT rights activists had been urging the EU to do act more forcefully to protect them from discrimination, and they welcomed the development.
Activist Bart Staszewski called it a “great day for Poland and great success of activists and civil society. I am really moved.”
Meanwhile, the liberal newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza said the region’s action marked “a good day in the fight against discrimination.”
EU leaders had denounced the resolutions as discriminatory, and the EU Parliament reacted earlier this year by passing a resolution declaring the entire 27-member EU a “freedom zone” for LGBT people.
According to Polish media reporters Wednesday, Swietokrzyskie’s assembly passed a new resolution in the place of the old one stating that Poland’s Constitution guarantees parents the right to raise their children in accordance with their beliefs and views but also provides “a guarantee of equality and fair treatment for all.”