PiS local councillor recites old religious hymn as region scraps anti-LGBT resolution

TVN24 News in English, TVN24 Kraków, starosadeckie.info, PAP, Reuters
Poland's Human Rights Commissioner chides anti-LGBT resolutions
Poland's Human Rights Commissioner chides anti-LGBT resolutionsTVN24 News in English
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TVN24 News in EnglishPoland's Human Rights Commissioner chides anti-LGBT resolutions

Local council in Stary Sącz (Lesser Poland Voivodeship) have revoked a so-called anti-LGBT resolution which discriminated against non-heterosexual people. One councillor did not like the decision so much that she stood up during the session and sang out Polish medieval religious hymn "Bogurodzica". That didn't affect the vote result, and the controversial resolution has been rescinded.

Stary Sącz town council adopted the anti-LGBT resolution in 2019. The document was meant to "stop gender and LGBT ideologies". Now, local councillors from Municipal Electoral Alliance (GPW), including town mayor Jacek Lelek have decided to revoke the resolution.

A call to conscience and "Mother of God"

The vote over the resolution's future took place on Tuesday (November 30), after a request submitted by council chairman Andrzej Stawiarski. According to a local portal starosadeckie.info, a prosecutor's office had spoken with Stawiarski about the resolution and asked him to check if all council members still approve of the document, two years after its adoption.

The portal also says that Law and Justice councillors were against adding the vote to the agenda. "They voiced a call to the opposition's conscience, to not add this resolution to the agenda. Councillor Lidia Szewczyk (PiS) even sang out Bogurodzica," we read in the article.

Before the councillor started to sing this medieval hymn she addressed her colleagues: "As far as I know, we're all Catholic and we all go to church. We now must vote (...) I appeal to your conscience. Our patron is Saint Kinga, whose church has been here since millenia, and it would be idolatry if we were to revoke this resolution we have once adopted".

Then Szewczyk started to sing the anthem, known in English as Mother of God. A video that was shortly published in social media showed that a few other councillors had joined in.

"More harm than good"

The call did not work. Eventually, the resolution has been rescinded. The local portal undescores that it was possible thanks to votes by GPW councillors, who two years ago had voted in favour of the document.

"I'm Catholic, but having two years to consider it, I think that since its adoption this resolution has done more harm than good," GPW councillor Ewa Zięba said during the session. She stressed, however, she stands "in defence of the rights of Catholics".

Stary Sącz has decided to revoke the anti-LGBT resolutionShutterstock

Discriminating resolutions

The rights of gay, bisexual and transgender Poles have come under increasing pressure since 2015 when the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power, but for some LGBT+ people, the 2019 election campaign was the last straw.

Dozens of local authorities across the country have issued so-called "LGBT ideology free" declarations, which have drawn international condemnation and the threat of losing access to regional EU funding.

Poland ranks at the bottom of the 27-member European Union when it comes to legal protections for LGBT+ people, according to the ILGA-Europe advocacy group.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, TVN24 Kraków, starosadeckie.info, PAP, Reuters

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Shutterstock

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