Rafał Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw, has received a significant amount of hate messages after signing a declaration to protect LGBT+ rights. This is the first LGBT+ declaration ever to be signed in central-eastern Europe (and the first to officially recognize LGBT+ rights in Poland).
The signed declaration is said to guarantee the basic needs of the LGBT+ community in the Polish capital, while also enabling local administrations to provide what the national government refuse to put into practice.
Shortly after signing the declaration, Trzaskowski received a lot of criticism from right-wing and anti-LGBT+ groups who claim that the LGBT+ community is receiving ‘’special treatment’’. The opponents also claim that LGBT+ people form a threat to society due to the ‘’high HIV infection rates.” The head of the Regional Education Board in the city of Krakow labelled the LGBT+ education initiative as “promoting pedophilia.’’
A spokesperson for Love Does Not Exclude, a Polish organization aiming to introduce marriage equality in the country, responded to the criticism: ‘’Rhetorics of this kind are nothing new to us- The goal of the right-wing media and activists is to cause a chilling effect, blocking implementation of the Declaration and stopping us from repeating our success in other cities – We won’t yield to this hate.” The organization has encouraged people to express their support of the declaration by writing to the Warsaw mayor.