The annual ILGA-Europe review of the legal and social situation of LGBTQ people in European countries again ranks Poland as the EU’s least LGBTQ-friendly country.
ILGA-Europe’s annual review measures equality by rating non-discrimination, family, hate crime and speech, legal gender recognition, intersex bodily integrity, civil society space, and asylum.
Polish news site Gazeta Wyborcza said Poland’s ranking dropped for each of the last 6 years. But worse, for the past 3 years, it occupied the bottom place, making it the EU’s least LGBTQ-friendly country.
The only European countries to rank lower are Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia, and Russia. However, none of those is an EU member state.
In 2022, Malta topped the list. That makes it Europe’s most LGBTQ-friendly country for the seventh time, followed by Denmark and Belgium.
Significantly, Latvia, Iceland, France, Greece, Slovakia and Lithuania all improved their scores in the last year. Ukraine also registered progress towards equality before the disruption caused by the Russian invasion.
Polish LGBTQ rights organization Campaign Against Homophobia was unsurprised by the low ranking. The organisation said the country did nothing to improve the lives of LGBTQ citizens during the past 12 months.
“Poland has the least LGBTQ-friendly legal system in the entire European Union, the situation here resembling that of Russia. We must immediately change this by consistently exerting social pressure on the Polish government.”
ILGA-Europe review 2022
— ILGA-Europe (@ILGAEurope) May 12, 2022
Unfortunately, Poland has become something of a pariah in Europe for its anti-LGBTQ stance in recent years. In 2020, 80 Polish municipal or local governments proclaimed their regions ‘LGBT-free zones’. Polish law allows LGBTQ people very few rights and the criminal code also offers no protection from homo-and transphobic violence.
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