On Saturday, July 22, the 2nd Equality March took place through the streets of Sanok (Podkarpackie Voivodeship). This year the event was held under the slogan “Love is our law”. “We came to the conclusion that these three simple words best describe what it’s all about: we have the right to our love, that the families we create are treated on an equal footing with other families,” said one of the organizers of the event on behalf of the “Tęczowy Sanok” collective.
The Sanok Equality March set off at 2 pm from the Market Square, went through the following streets: Piłsudzkiego, Mickiewicza, Królowej Bony, Podgórze, Daszyńskiego, Kościuszki, 3 Maja and will return to the Market Square. Its total route was about 4 kilometers.
The event under the slogan “Love is our law” was accompanied by music and speeches by invited guests.
– When we were wondering what the motto of our march should be, we came to the conclusion that these three simple words best describe what it’s all about: we have the right to our love, that the families we create should be treated on an equal footing with other families – said Wiktoria Aleksandra Barańska, a member of Tęczowy Sanok.
She added: – I dream of a world where every LGBTQ+ person can feel good about themselves, have a sense of security and full rights. I believe the march is a step in that direction.
Not only the young generation, but also their teachers and parents marched through the streets of Sanok, carrying the rainbow flag.
– I am a teacher at a school in Sanok and this march is for me a form of support for my students in the fight for normality. I would like the school, especially the Podkarpacie one, because it is hard here, to be free from prejudice and open to young people, especially those of color. We have more and more of them. Thanks to such marches, it seems to me that they are no longer afraid, so I support it as much as I can and encourage the local government to do the same, because then we will be able to create a good environment for ourselves – said one of the participants of the march.
– I am here primarily for my two children. To make Poland better, more understanding and colorful. It did not promote social exclusion. So that our children will be better at school – emphasized another picket.
Postulates of the 2nd Equality March in Sanok
Among the demands of this year’s event are: protection against discrimination and exclusion of all social minorities and strengthening legal protection against hate speech and crimes. “We want legal regulations on hate crimes against LGBTQ people. We call for the extension of hate speech laws to include issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation, and for effective enforcement of existing regulations,” write the organizers.
They also postulate the introduction of legal regulations facilitating the medical and legal process of confirming the gender of transgender persons in documents without unnecessary court proceedings.
They are also fighting for the introduction of full marital equality with the right to adopt and a law regulating non-marriage relationships, including in particular provisions ensuring the security of mutual obligations.
They call for cheaper access to culture, city-forming activities in urban space, prevention of communication exclusion and elimination of architectural barriers for marginalized groups: parents and carers with prams, people with disabilities and the elderly.
Activists also want to introduce to schools and kindergartens “modern, reliable and ideologically neutral education on human sexuality, adapted to perceptual abilities and age, anti-discrimination education, teaching openness to diversity and ethics shaping attitudes of respect and respect for the dignity of all people.”
They demand a policy for gender equality, equal treatment of women, men and non-binary people in every sphere of life. “We demand employment and remuneration depending on the work performed and competences, not gender. We demand language devoid of sexism, the introduction of gender parity in management bodies, political structures and in the media” – they postulate.
They also want to provide citizens with full reproductive rights, including: the right to information, sex education, free contraception, including emergency contraception, and abortion on demand up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. “We demand respect for the rights of the patient, limiting the use of the so-called conscience clause so that its use does not deprive women of their rights, the implementation of the right to a dignified childbirth, as well as a policy supporting parenthood” – they emphasize. They also want to increase state aid for families in which people with disabilities live and restore the alimony fund.
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They call for shortening the procedure for issuing visas to Poland, especially in diplomatic missions in Eastern Europe. “We demand a reduction in the bureaucracy used against foreigners living in Poland. We demand an improvement in the conditions in which asylum seekers are held in Poland. Asylum is not a prison sentence. According to the Constitution of May 3: Whoever visits the borders of the Republic – is free!” – they emphasize.
The organizers also call for the normalization of financial relations between the state and the Church. They want the liquidation of the financial privileges of the Church and the taxation of its income, a ban on financing it from the state budget, including in particular evangelization and catechesis, and transparency of financial flows between the state and the Church and the obligation to record all revenues.
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They want equal rights for all religious and ideological organizations, freedom from religious indoctrination and symbolic violence in state institutions, services and media, as well as freedom and “religiously unrestricted freedom of speech”, i.e. the abolition of Article 196 of the Penal Code, which concerns offending religious feelings.
The postulates also included those related to ecology – here was an appeal to the government and corporations to move away from technologies that poison the planet, and the protection of animal rights, including, above all, the introduction of a ban on breeding animals for fur, animal performances in circuses, recreational hunting, as well as object and cruel treatment of animals in industrial farming.
Equality marches in Podkarpacie
On July 15, the Equality March marched through the streets of Rzeszów for the fourth time. Sanok is the second city in Podkarpacie where this event will take place. The next Krosno – there, the Equality March will take place on August 26 and it will be the first event of this type in this city.
Main photo source: TVN24