The rights of LGBTQ Poles have been consistently violated under Law and Justice (PiS) government. The cooperation of conservatives, clergy and politician resulted in numerous violence outbreaks across the country. Not only the attempts of Pride Parades were brutally opposed backed by the officials but even entire cities and municipalities declared to be “LGBTQ-free zones”. Despite multiple attempts of European Commision to intervene homophobia in Poland keeps escalating. The situation is becoming even worse with the Presidential elections to be held later this year. Is there any hope for LGBTQ Poles?
For the first time since 2015 the answer is positive. The consolidated opposition has finally ended up with nominating a single strong candidate, Robert Biedron. An openly gay politician has a long record of advocating LGBTQ rights in Poland and substantial administrative experience. In his bid for presidency Biedron declares a complete rebuilding of the Polish society and ensuring equal rights for everyone regardless of their preferences and will be “a guarantor of modern and diverse Poland, a good partner for the future leftist government” (according to liberal politician Adrian Zandberg).
The leader of “Spring”, pro-European party, Biedron also aims to ensure a full compliance with EU regulations and thus to avoid possible sanctions that are about to be imposed on Poland in accordance with European Commision decision. Other problems to be solved by the candidate if elected are women rights enhancement and separation of the church from the government. The latter task is of the utmost importance because right now church-LaJ alliance results in church being fully dependent and lacking its own point of view.
But who is Robert Biedron and what is he famous for? Mr Biedron has been cooperating with LGBTQ rights advocating organizations around the world for many years. In 2001 he was the organizer of the very first Gay Pride Parade in Poland and fought against homophobia (Campaign Against Homophobia). As a recognition of his contribution in advocating LGBTQ rights Biedron was awarded “Rainbow Laurels” in 2003. Moreover, he was named a “Rainbow Man” in 2004. Through his legislative career Biedron did all he could to establish equality and diversity. In 2014 Mr. Biedron became the first openly gay mayor (Slupak) in Polish history. Under his rule the city succeeded in reducing its debt and implementing numerous social projects contributed to public good. Biedron campaigned in favor of recognition of the same-sex partnerships but is not going to stop with this basic right being granted.
The candidate himself called a nomination “a great honour”. All the progressive forces of Poland in general and LGBTQ community in particular are looking forward to May, 2020 when the future of the country is to be decided. The rivals of Robert Biedron are Andrzej Duda, current far-right president, and Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, the liberal candidate. Let us hope for the best possible outcome for now separated country that will bring peace and true justice.