The European Parliament has voted to declare the entire European Union as an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone” in response to member state Poland’s recent anti-gay crackdown. The vote was 492-141 and came just hours after the Polish government announced a proposal to close a loophole that allowed same-sex couples to adopt.
Politico reports the nonbinding resolution states in part that “Rather than discriminating against LGBTIQ persons, the authorities at all levels of governance across the entire European Union should protect and promote equality and the fundamental rights of all, including LGBTIQ persons, and ensure their rights in full.”
DW.com adds that the resolution specifically calls out Polish President Andrzej Duda, who won re-election last summer “after often speaking out against LGBT+ rights, and depicting members of the community as a threat to families.” ABC News notes that “about one-third of Poles now live in communities that have passed resolutions declaring their opposition to the promotion of LGBT rights.”
Poland’s crackdown on LGBT rights and activists last year prompted Joe Biden to weigh in saying “Let me be clear: LGBTQ+ rights are human rights — and “LGBT-free zones” have no place in the European Union or anywhere in the world.”
Earlier this week, French European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune, who came out as gay last year, revealed that Poland’s government had threatened to cancel his meetings during a recent trip to the country if he visited a village that had declared itself an “LGBT-ideology free zone.”