Australian Ambassador calls out Poland’s homophobic crackdown

lloyd brodrick australian ambassador poland lgbt
Photos: Facebook/Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s Ambassador to Poland has joined nearly 50 other diplomats to call on the Polish Government to end discrimination against its LGBTIQ+ community.

Poland’s queer communities have recently come under increasing attack under right-wing leader Andrzej Duda. A hundred local regions have passed resolutions declaring themselves “LGBT-free zones”.

Now Lloyd Brodrick, Australia’s Ambassador to Poland, has joined fellow envoys from numerous EU countries, the USA, Canada, India, Japan and others in signing the letter.

“Human rights are universal and everyone, including LGBTI persons, are entitled to their full enjoyment,” it reads.

“This is something everyone should support.

“We affirm the inherent dignity of each individual as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“[Governments are obliged] to protect all citizens from violence and discrimination and to ensure they enjoy equal opportunities.

“To shield communities in need of protection from verbal and physical abuse and hate speech, we need to jointly work on an environment of non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual acceptance.

“This includes in particular sectors such as education, health, social affairs, citizenship, public service and public documents.”

‘Ensure human rights and end discrimination’

The signatories go on pay tribute to the “hard work” of Poland’s LGBTIQ communities as well as “all those who seek to ensure human rights” for LGBTI and other marginalised communities.

They also back efforts to “end discrimination in particular on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Lloyd Brodrick announced his support and shared the letter on Twitter.

“Proud to join 49 other colleagues in Warsaw expressing support for the human rights of LGBTI persons,” he wrote.

Homophobia and LGBTIQ discrimination rising in Poland

Last year, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party campaigned heavily against LGBTIQ rights and was re-elected.

President Andrzej Duda vowed to block same-sex marriage, LGBT-inclusive education in schools and also ban adoption for same-sex couples.

Before the election, PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski also called LGBTIQ people “a threat” to Poland and compared homosexuality to paedophilia.

Local authorities representing a third of the country also passed resolutions declaring their jurisdictions “LGBT-free zones”.

They vowed to avoid actions seen as tolerant of the LGBTIQ community, and block funding to NGOs promoting equality.

However the European Parliament strongly condemned the homophobic pledges and called for leaders to revoke them.

It warned the measures were part of “a broader context of attacks” against Poland’s LGBTI community.

This “includes growing hate speech by public and elected officials and public media, as well as attacks and bans on Pride marches.”

Earlier this year, police arrested activists and accused them of “insulting religious feelings and desecrating” monuments with rainbow flags in Warsaw.

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