EU's Jourova chides homophobic comments used in Poland's presidential campaign

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TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
European Parliament debated on situation of LGBT+ people in PolandTVN24 News in English
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TVN24 News in EnglishEuropean Parliament debated on situation of LGBT+ people in Poland

"I would like to recall that under the EU law, as well as under the Polish constitution, each individual is equal, regardless of his or her race, religion or sexual orientation," vice president of the EU Commission Vera Jourova said on Monday. Her words referred to anti-LGBT comments made by the members of Poland's nationalist ruling party, as well as president Andrzej Duda, ahead of the presidential election scheduled for June 28.

Vera Jourova spoke during the LIBE Committee meeting on Monday. Some MPs asked about her take on the controversial comments regarding the LGBT people, made by prominent politicians during the presidential campaign. "In these very heated and uncertain times, politicians should really take responsibility for their language. Words matter and can have consequences in real life," Jourova said.

She added: "Poland is now in the pre-election campaign, of the presidential campaign which very important for the future of the country. I really do not want to interfere in the campaign, but at the same time, I find it really sad that in the modern Europe politicians holding high offices decide to target minorities for potential political gains". "I would like to recall that under the EU law, as well as under the Polish constitution, each individual is equal, regardless of his or her race, religion or sexual orientation," stressed the vice president of the EU Commission.

Homophobic narration

The discussion was a response to a series of anti-LGBT comments made by members of the ruling nationalist coalition, Jacek Żalek and Przemysław Czarnek, MEP Joachim Brudziński, as well as president Andrzej Duda.

Former interior minister Joachim Brudziński, now an MEP, posted a tweet in which he wrote: "Poland without LGBT is the most beautiful". Shortly after, Jacek Żalek, a member of junior coalition partner Agreement party, was asked on his opinion regarding the said tweet in an interview for TVN24. He said that the LGBT "are not people, but an ideology". In reaction to his words, the show host, Katarzyna Kolenda-Zaleska, decided to end conversation with Żalek.

Law and Justice MP Przemysław Czarnek said the following words in a live show on state-controlled TVP Info: "Let's protect families from this sort of decay, depravation, an absolutely immoral conduct, let's protect ourselves from LGBT ideology and let's stop listening to these idiocies about some human rights, or some equality. These people aren't equal to normal people, end of discussion".

Duda vs international media

Poland's president compared LGBT "ideology" to communist doctrine in a campaign speech on Saturday, as LGBT rights become a hotly debated issue ahead of a June 28 presidential election in the staunchly Catholic country. President Andrzej Duda is an ally of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS), which dismisses the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights as a foreign influence undermining Poland's traditional values.


Vera Jourova commented on Andrzej Duda's words on Monday. "By the way, comparing LGBTI with communist ideology, well (…) I’m confused by that. Because I remember the communist ideology as something suppressing and persecuting everything and everyone who was different. And that’s why I’m glad we are in the EU which recognises equality, and equality of opportunity. I really do not understand this comparison," she said.

"We are working (to fight) against hate speech against the minorities, including the LGBTI people. We will follow the situation of minorities in the member states. I’m in a very frequent contact with the ombudsman of Poland," said the vice chief of the EU executive.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters

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