Ten Polish opposition members of parliament coordinated their outfits to create a rainbow flag in support of LGBTQ+ equality during the swearing-in of the country’s new homophobic president Andrzej Duda.
Andrzej Duda won a second five-year term in the July 12 election by a margin of just two percentage points. During his presidential campaign, he ran an anti-LGBTQ+ campaign in an attempt to win over his conservative fanbase promising to outlaw same-sex marriage and ban same-sex couples from adopting children.
Polish homophobic president Duda, closely associated with the Poland’s ruling right-wing nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), which strongly opposes LGBTQ+ rights, freedoms and families. Ahead of the July Duda, argued that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people ‘are not people, it’s an ideology’.
He also signed a declaration called The Family Card that would ban LGBTQ+ lessons in schools to protect children from so-called “LGBT ideology.”
But at his swearing-in this week, many Polish politicians staged silent protests. Many from the center party Civic Coalition simply refused to attend, and others came wearing face masks with rainbow flags.
To show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, the 10 MPs, from Poland’s opposition, all wore rainbow masks and brightly coloured outfits in the shades of the rainbow as Duda was sworn in, in the lower house of parliament, the Sejm.
They pose for photos inside and outside parliament with rainbow and white and red Polish flags. On Twitter, many people praise the MPs efforts of solidarity.
Magda Biejat, MP from the left-wing Razem party, wrote on Twitter: “The president of Poland should defend the rights of all citizens.”
Left MP Anna Maria Zukowska told Reuters that “we wanted to remind President Andrzej Duda that… in the constitution there is a guarantee of equality for all.”
‘We don’t want a similar situation during his next term as there was during his campaign, when the president dehumanized LGBT people by denying them the right to be people.’
A recent report by ILGA-Europe ranked Poland among the worst in the European Union when it comes to civil rights for LGBTQ+ people. Few week ago, the European Union denied funding to six towns in Poland that declared themselves to be “LGBT-free zones.”