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The European Union’s chief executive lashed out against homophobic policies of the nationalist government in Warsaw in saying on Wednesday there was « no place » in the bloc for districts proclaimed « LGBT-free zones » in Poland. « LGBTQI-free zones are humanity free zones. And they have no place in our (European) Union, » European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told her annual policy speech to the European Parliament. « Breaches of the rule of law cannot be tolerated, » she said.
But the Commission President’s comments were brutally dismantled by Polish MEP Ryszard Antoni Legutko who accused Mrs von der Leyen of « hypocrisy » and « arrogance ».
He blasted: « As usual behind sanctimoniousness there is hypocrisy. What this rule of law policy amounts to is brutal majoritarianism.
« The mainstream majority wants to crush every form of dissent and do not open the door for instruments of the tyranny of the majority, as you promised you would do.
He added: « This is political arrogance at its worst. Let me conclude: if we continue, if you and your Commission continue the current course, Europe will be wrecked.
« You, Mrs von der Leyen, must make sure that you are not the President who lost the people of Europe.
« I urge you work with member states not with ideologically driven campaigns masquerading as political groups in this house. Save the European Union from ideology and return it to reality. »
Last month, Poland’s justice minister said a town that had lost EU funding over dubbing itself a zone free of « LGBT ideology » would receive government financial support.
Von der Leyen said the bloc’s executive will soon present « a strategy to strenghten LGBTQI rights » in the bloc, as well as pushing for mutual recognition of family relations in the EU.
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Currently, some countries in the bloc recognise same sex marriage and parenthood, but others do not.
That leads to situations in which, for example, two women recognised as mothers of their children in Belgium would not be treated the same way in Poland, meaning they would not have the same rights vis-a-vis their children depending on where in the EU they are.
The Law and Justice (PiS) government in Poland – as well as its eurosceptic ally, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban – have long been at loggerheads with the EU over undercutting democratic standards.
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