The U.S. embassy in Warsaw has offered grants of up to $50,000 for programs aimed at supporting the LGBTQI+ community in Poland, highlighting the growing role of U.S. influence operations in conservative countries.
Details on applying for such grants are being publicized on social media, but the link published on the Embassy’s Twitter account is inactive.
This isn’t the first time the U.S. is backing LGBT promotion in Poland. Last year during the so-called Pride Month, U.S. Ambassador Mark Brzeziński presented an open letter in support of the LGBTQI+ community that was signed by 46 embassies and representatives of international organizations. The letter expressed full support for LGBTQI+ rights and for the Equality Parades that took place in several Polish cities.
In 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Global Respect Act, which is legislation that allows the U.S. to block the entry of foreign subjects who “oppose LGBT rights.” Six Republicans joined their Democrat colleagues in voting for the measure. The legislation obliges the U.S. administration to regularly publish a list of individuals engaged in breaches of human rights for LGBT people and for levying appropriate sanctions. The State Department has been charged with identifying an official who will oversee the monitoring of discrimination and oppression of people on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender in other countries.
Poland has been criticized by both EU institutions and the U.S. for its stance on LGBT rights, especially with regard to the country’s stance on same-sex unions and sexual education. However, Poland’s ruling conservatives point to the fact that the Polish constitution defines marriage as being between a man and a woman and guarantees parents the right to have their children educated in line with their religious beliefs. The Catholic Church does not accept same-sex unions and views same-sex relations as a sin.