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Kolbuszów District. The county council withdrew from the anti-LGBT resolution. Because of the money

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The Kolbuszów Poviat Council (Podkarpackie Voivodeship) withdrew from the anti-LGBT declaration. It is about a document from 2019 on “stopping the LGBT ideology by the self-government community”. The decision – as the staroste of Kolbuszów admitted in an interview with tvn24.pl – was not caused by a change of views towards non-heteronormative people, but by the vision of losing EU money.

On August 22, 2019, the county adopted a declaration “on stopping the LGBT ideology by the local government community” by a large majority of votes. In the document, which can be found on the website of the BIP of the District Office in Kolbuszowa, we read that the county council adopted the declaration “guided by the common good, care for the family and respect for the principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland”.

“The radicals striving for a cultural revolution in Poland attack the freedom of speech, the innocence of children, the authority of the family and school, and the freedom of entrepreneurs. Opposing this project, we would like to emphasize that the basis of our position is not a lack of respect for the dignity of the above-mentioned people, but concern for the common good of the whole society, and in particular respect for the rights of parents and children.

SEE THE MATERIAL OF “FACTS” TVN: Could have been a robotics center, but the money was gone. “I feel like a second-class citizen”

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And further: “We will not be forced to exaggerate problems and artificial conflicts brought about by the LGBT ideology. The proposed alternative visions of man do not take into account the truth about human nature, and refer only to invented ideological images. Not only are they completely alien to European civilization but – if they were to become the basis of a social norm – they would be a threat to our continent.”

Guz-Vetter: anti-LGBT resolutions must disappear for EU funds to be paid outMarzenna Guz-Vetter, head of the European Commission’s representation in PolandTVN24

The declaration also reads that the councilors do not agree to the “unlawful installation of political correctness officers in schools (so-called lighthouse keepers).” “We will protect the right to raise children in accordance with the beliefs of parents. We will do everything to prevent scandalizers interested in the early sexualization of Polish children from entering schools,” the local government officials assured in the document.

Read also: EU millions not for Świdnik. The opposition issues bills to the councilors for the “anti-LGBT” resolution

At the end, they assured that in their local government activities they would be faithful to “national and state tradition”. The document formulated in this way was supported by 14 out of 15 councillors.

The resolution was repealed by 15 votes on January 26, 2023.

Read also: Anti-LGBT resolutions, frozen EU funds for five voivodeships. Deputy Marshal Urynowicz: we are talking about billions of euros

Kolbuszów staroste: the main reason was finances

The point regarding the repeal of the document affecting the LGBT community was introduced to the agenda at the last minute, already during the session. The mayor speaks reluctantly about what influenced the decision to repeal the document. – If it is harmful (declaration – ed.), then we have repealed it – says Józef Kardyś, the Kolbuszów starost in an interview with tvn24.pl.

SEE THE MATERIAL OF “FACTS” TVN: Could have been a robotics center, but the money was gone. “I feel like a second-class citizen”

As he admits, he has not changed his views, but both he as the starost and the district council must be guided by the “general good”. – The main reason was the financial reason, if we want to develop the county, we must have money for it – emphasizes the starost.

13 councilors voted for repealing the declaration, one person abstained from voting, one person voted for the position of the council to remain valid.

Read also: The councilors of the Świętokrzyskie sejmik repealed the anti-LGBT resolution

In an interview with the tvn24.pl portal, the staroste of Kolbuszów does not want to refer to the content of the declaration adopted by the poviat council in 2019. “That was our position at the time, and that’s what we adopted,” he says.

Activist: by repealing the resolution, they prevented the loss of EU funds

Jakub Gawron, an activist from Rzeszów fighting for the rights of LGBTQ people, has no doubts about the motives of the district council in Kolbuszowa. – Kolbuszów councilors, by repealing the resolution, prevented the blockade of their county’s access to EU funds. In the passing financial perspective, the Kolbuszów district obtained PLN 38 million from EU funds, the activist indicated in an interview with the tvn24.pl portal.

Read also in Konkret24: One-third of Poles in “LGBT-free zones”? We check

Annually, it is about five million zlotys, which the Kolbuszów district received from the EU for the implementation of various projects. – Apparently, the poviat authorities received a clear signal from the Marshal’s Office of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship that due to their resolution calling for unlawful discrimination of organizations working for the LGBTQIA community, the Kolbuszów poviat will be rejected in calls for proposals for EU projects – the activist concluded.

SEE THE MATERIAL OF “FACTS AFTERNOON”: The Małopolska parliament repealed the declaration on “LGBT ideology”

Reaction of the European Union to anti-LGBT resolutions

In December 2019 The European Parliament adopted a resolutionin which he condemned the adoption of resolutions on counteracting LGBT ideology, pointing to their discriminatory nature and called on Polish local governments to repeal them. At the same time, the EP appealed to the European Commission to verify how these local governments spend EU money. For many local governments that adopted resolutions, declarations or positions discriminating against the LBGTQ community, this meant the loss of EU millions, thanks to which local governments could develop road infrastructure, invest in education or health.

Read also: The European Parliament adopted a resolution on LGBT people. The deadline for local governments to respond to anti-LGBT resolutions has passed

Not only the Union, but also Norway linked the payment mechanism with the so-called Norway Grants respecting the rights to dignity and freedom of all individuals.

Ombudsman: resolutions inconsistent with the Constitution and generally applicable law

The anti-LGBT resolutions, declarations and positions were appealed for in 2020 by the then president Ombudsman Adam Bodnar. He took the position that they are inconsistent with the Constitution and generally applicable law, because they discriminate against non-heteronormative and transgender people, excluding them from the self-government community, limiting their rights and freedoms.

SEE THE MATERIAL OF “FACTS” TVN: “LGBT-free zones” without funds for local projects. “The European Commission has moved from words to deeds”

Anti-LGBT resolutions overturned by court.  The entire conversation between Karolina Wasilewska and Filip Rak from the Commissioner's Office

Anti-LGBT resolutions overturned by court. The entire conversation between Karolina Wasilewska and Filip Rak from the Commissioner’s OfficeTVN24

He also sued Ryki County, Lubelskie Voivodeship, Niebylec, Tarnow poviat, Lipinki, Istebna, Klwów, Serniki and Osiek to administrative courts. So far, the court has examined four complaints in the cases of Istebna, Klwów, Serników and Osiek and ordered the repeal of the resolutions. The other five are still pending.

SEE ALSO THE MATERIAL OF “FACTS” TVN: Anti-LGBT resolution illegal. The court agreed with the RPO

In recent years, homophobic resolutions in Podkarpacie were withdrawn by the local governments of: Nowa Dęba, Nowa Sarzyna, Przeworsk, the Lubaczów poviat, the Rzeszów poviat, Dębica, Markowa, Przemyśl, the Zarzecze commune and the Podkarpackie Voivodship Sejmik.

Read also: “New York Times” about the resolution that turned the Polish city “into a synonym of homophobia”

The cost of attacks against LGBT+ people

The cost of attacks against LGBT+ peopleTVN24

Main photo source: Shutterstock/Angyalosi Beata



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