46 foreign ambassadors sign pro-LGBT letter criticizing Poland, including close ally Ukraine

Despite Poland sending Ukraine over 200 tanks and taking in millions of refugees, Ukrainian diplomats joined a letter criticizing Poland’s stance on LGBT rights

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: wpolityce.pl

In an act of intervention into Polish domestic politics, 46 ambassadors and diplomats accredited in Poland have signed a letter demanding joint efforts to combat discrimination against LGBTQI+ people and for their rights to be respected in Poland.

The controversial letter was produced on the occasion of Pride Month, celebrated by LGBTQI+ activists. It was drawn up by U.S. Ambassador Mark Brzezinski and signed by ambassadors of most EU states as well as the U.K., Norway, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and representatives of international organizations including the EU and UNHCR.  Ukraine also signed the letter despite Poland sending the country billions worth of military and other types of aid, and taking in millions of refugees.

The letter, which states that LGBTQI+ people are facing problems and challenges in Poland implicitly not faced in other countries, marks another intervention by foreign diplomats on the issue, as does ambassadors’ routinely supporting equality marches held in several Polish cities. The letter indirectly criticizes the Polish authorities by calling them to grant LGBT people protection from violence and discrimination and to ensure equal rights. 

The call for equal rights seems to be an indirect criticism of the Polish constitution, which determines that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, as it also is in Hungary. This is hotly contested by LGBT activists as an example of so-called “discrimination.”

The call for non-discrimination in education, also present in the letter, is highly contentious as well. It would mean having LGBT sex education in the classroom, which runs counter to the Polish constitution’s provisions on the rights of parents to have their children educated in accordance with their beliefs and values. 

Brzezinski also published a recording with other diplomats on his Twitter account. In it, the diplomats state that they have been supporting equality marches since 2012 and link LGBTQI+ rights firmly with the notion of human rights.

The right to be respected and to be able to live in accordance with one’s values is enshrined in the Polish constitution. However, this does not translate into LGBTQI people having special rights and privileges not enjoyed by others or that are limited by the constitution to partners of the opposite sex. 

Supporters of the government indicate that such diplomatic action is sorely lacking in key areas, such as regarding the war in Ukraine, where Germany and other nations have been dragging their feet on providing military aid despite the invasion.

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