Poland’s sexual education bill is coming under attack from the European Parliament (EP) after it voted in favor of a resolution that criticizes the project despite the Polish bill being a citizens’ initiative and not a parliamentary one.
In the European Parliament, 471 MEPs voted in favor of the resolution, 128 voted against and 57 abstained. The MEPs of the largest factions in the EP all signed the resolution.
The EP appealed to the Polish parliament to halt accepting the proposed project and to “ensure youth access to complex sexual education.”
In the resolution, MEPs “expressed deep distress concerning extraordinarily unclear, broad and disproportionate regulations of the bill’s project, which de facto leads to penalization of disseminating sexual education among minors.”
The MEPs also claimed that the proposed regulations from Poland would threaten sexual educators, teachers, healthcare workers, journalists, parents and guardians, and publishers with imprisonment of up to three years.
Polish opposition MEP Robert Biedroń declared a huge victory on social media once the resolution was passed:
“The EP just accepted the resolution condemning the bill project concerning sexual education in Poland with a decisive majority. PiS MEPs, as usual, were in the minority. This is a very clear message: We’re in the twenty-first century and not in the medieval period. Polish children have the right to proper education.”
PiS MEP Beata Kempa swiftly issued a retort against Biedroń’s claims, saying, “Despite the scandalous resolution against Poland, which in reality was against Polish children, we will continue to work accordingly to protect our children from promoting pedophilia. Mr. R. Biedroń should finally declare whether he is for or against pedophilia.”
Polish journalists also point out that the EP has accepted a resolution that criticizes a project which had not passed through the Sejm and was a citizen project to begin with.
“Are they insane? How can you criticize the state for a bill project that was brought forward by citizens?”, wrote Patryk Słowik.
In Poland, citizens’ initiatives can be brought before parliament if enough people sign them, at which point lawmakers have to vote on the citizen proposal.
Polish conservatives are increasingly concerned with how education has developed in other Western countries, including drag queen story reading hours for children and sexual education that often promotes risky sexual behavior.