Polish ruling politician Jarosław Kaczyński confirmed during a meeting of his party Law & Justice (PiS) that LGBTQI (in)tolerance will become the main election campaign theme. “It’s all about election strategy”, according to political scientist Rémy Bonny. (This article has a copyright disclaimer – see below)
“The vice-president of Warsaw has made it clear – this is not about tolerance, it’s about the affirmation of same-sex relationships; here we say no, especially when it comes to children, hands of from our children” – said the de facto leader of Poland earlier Today at a regional PiS convention in Katowice.
Poland’s ruling party launched a campaign against the “LGBT+ attack on our children” earlier this week. See this tweet by Stanislaw Karczewski.
Kaczynski is officially not president or prime minister, but he is perceived as the country’s de facto leader.
According to expert in LGBT-politics in Central and Eastern Europe Rémy Bonny, this has little to do with ideology.
“The political debate around LGBTQI-rights in Poland gets more and more polarised. At one hand, you have the conservatives opposing any demand from the LGBTQI-movement. At the other hand, you have the more progressives like Warsaw’s mayor Rafał Trzaskowski and the openly homosexual party leader Robert Biedron. LGBTQI-rights will become one of the main campaign themes for the upcoming European and presidential elections in Poland.”, says Bonny.
Rafał Trzaskowski recently launched his ‘LGBT+ Declaration’. A declaration which makes the Polish capital committed to LGBT+-equality. This led to fierce reactions by (among others) football hooligans. These football hooligans now get the support of the country’s main political party.
“But the election strategy goes beyond this declaration. Robert Biedron and his party Wiosna is rising in the opinion polls. It is now the third biggest party in the country. PiS fears that charismatic Biedron will be the big challenger for current president Andrzej Duda. They want scrutinise him before he gets even bigger.”, according to Bonny.
City vs. countryside
“Poland is not only divided amongst ideology. There’s a huge difference in the opinions on LGBTQI-people between younger and older people. Also the bigger cities are most of the times a progressive island in a very conservative country. Warsaw has a vibrant and well-organised LGBTQI-scene.”
“PiS fears that in the longer term Poland will become as liberal as Western Europe in regard to LGBTQI-issues.”, Bonny concludes.
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