Lib Dem MP Layla Moran urges Brits to protect Poland’s under-siege LGBT+ community

Emma Powys Maurice
·2-min read

UK towns twinned with Polish “LGBT-free” zones are facing calls to renounce the relationship to show their support for the LGBT+ community.

Half a dozen local authorities in the UK have official or informal twinning arrangements with towns in Poland that are considered by equality campaigners to be under significant pressure to implement resolutions targeting LGBT+ people.

The councils are being urged to lobby their Polish counterparts to stop the spread of homophobia, as part of a new campaign from the Liberal Democrats.

“Events in Poland should concern the whole international community. Labelling LGBTQ+ as an ‘ideology’ and suppressing LGBTQ+ people is outrageous,” said MP Layla Moran, who’s leading the push.

“Many of these towns are twinned with those here in the UK. We cannot stand by. We must protect our twins and the communities who live there.”

Last year the mayor of Edinburgh urged his counterpart in Krakow to confirm his opposition to homophobia after the region joined the growing “LGBT-free” zone, which now covers around a third of the country.

Months later the Irish town of Fermoy announced it was ending a twinning arrangement with the Polish town of Nowa Dęba, and twinned towns in France and the Netherlands have also cut ties with their Polish counterparts in protest at the zones.

But many English towns have yet to speak out against Poland’s homophobic regime.

That could change with the Lib Dem campaign asking UK councils to pass motions beginning a “formal period of diplomacy” with their Polish twin towns.

Regions considering creating “LGBT-free zones” will be asked to stop, and areas that have rejected such proposals will be applauded for upholding human rights.

The move was praised by the Nowoczesna Party, the Lib Dems’ sister party in Poland.

Monika Rosa, a member of the Sejm (Polish Parliament) told the Independent: “We welcome your initiative to engage constructively with the towns and cities of Poland to reflect on human rights, particularly on LGBT+ rights.

“This is crucially important to take action against the systematic discrimination of minorities in Poland and promote European values in all levels of government.”