Other communes and poviats are withdrawing from “anti-LGBT” resolutions. Such a document was repealed, among others, on Wednesday at the session of the Włoszczowa district council, but the decision was preceded by a stormy discussion. The blockade of EU funds for the county had an impact on the result of the councilors’ vote.
Only the vision of the loss of EU subsidies convinced the council of the Włoszczowa poviat (Świętokrzyskie Voivodship) to withdraw from the discriminatory resolution. – It was the most harmful resolution that was passed in the history of the Włoszczowa poviat. We were well aware that it was blocking EU funds – emphasizes Sławomir Owczarek, councilor of the Włoszczowa poviat on behalf of PSL.
In 2019, the councilors adopted a resolution “on opposition to the promotion and attempt to introduce LGBT ideology in public life.” In the provisions of the resolution, we can read that “the principles on which the LGBT ideology is based violate basic values” and “The Włoszczowa County Council in its activities will be guided by respect for the centuries-old Christian tradition and cultural heritage, which are the foundation of social order.” In addition, the council appealed to “all entities and institutions of public life to firmly oppose attempts to introduce LGBT ideology into public life.”
– Using the term discrimination in relation to the adopted resolution is a far-reaching abuse – Zbigniew Matyśkiewicz, chairman of the Włoszczowa poviat council, argued at the council session.
– I heard the voices of some councilors that since LGBT people can get on buses and enter offices, they are not discriminated against. At the same time, this resolution contained provisions prohibiting the promotion of LGBT ideology. These are statements taken straight from Putin’s Russia, says Konrad Dulkowski from the Center for Monitoring Racist and Xenophobic Behaviors.
Last year, the Ombudsman also intervened in the matter of the provisions adopted by the Włoszczowa poviat. – They created a hostile atmosphere towards people belonging to the LGBT+ community – assesses Justyna Jezierska, a specialist in the team for equal treatment from the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.
However, it was not easy for some councilors to say goodbye to homophobic provisions. The session of the county council on the subject of withdrawing from the resolution was stormy. – We are sold for these silver coins. Let’s see if it’s any good. For a few zlotys, we kneel on our knees – argued Dariusz Czechowski, the Włoszczowa starost. – My grandmother told how it was, how the Germans entered, how the Russians entered, how they slept in the fields. I do not want to sleep in the fields, I will not kneel in front of them – said Małgorzata Gusta, a councilor of the Włoszczowa district on behalf of Law and Justice.
“Srebrniki”, which the starost spoke about, is millions for the poviat, among others, for internships for the unemployed, for a subsidy to start a business or for the digitization of medical services.
We all know that we can’t do anything without money. Nobody has to kneel before anyone, nobody has to be a Judas – assured Leopold Kwapisz, a councilor of the Włoszczowa poviat on behalf of the Polish People’s Party.
See also on TVN24 GO: “Queer in a Small Town”
The new resolution adopted by the council not only abolishes homophobic provisions, but also expresses opposition to discrimination on the grounds of, inter alia, sexual orientation. – In each regional program of EU funds there is a provision that directly says that there will be no funding for local governments where discriminatory resolutions are in force – notes Anna Maria Linczowska from the Campaign Against Homophobia.
The Włoszczowa district was the last one in the Świętokrzyskie voivodship with records hitting the LGBT+ community. However, the map of Poland still shows zones where discriminatory resolutions are in force. The moderators of the “Atlas of Hate” counted over 30 such places. Until recently, there were more than 100.
Main photo source: TVN24