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Conservatives Furious After Black Eyed Peas Wear Rainbow Armbands For NYE Event In Poland

Members of Poland's conservative Law and Justice Party were enraged at the group's display of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

The Black Eyed Peas
Renard Garr/Getty Images

Members of Poland's conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) lashed out at the Black Eyes Peas following the group's decision to wear rainbow armbands in a display of solidarity with the country's LGBTQ+ community.

The group appeared on the country's "New Year's Eve of Dreams" television program broadcast live from the city of Zakopane and took the stage to perform their 2003 hit song "Where is the Love?"

Before starting the song, singer called Poland a "wonderful country" for being so "open hearted" to "people in need of help," referring to the country's decision to host thousands of refugees who've fled Russia's ongoing war with Ukraine.

He added:

“We dedicate this song to people who have experienced hate this year: Jewish community, we love you, Africans around the world, we love you, LGBTQ community, we love you.”

You can watch's statement and the performance in the video below.

But members of Poland's far-right soon expressed disgust with the group's message.

Marcin Warchol, Deputy Justice Minister and a member of PiS, called the group's support of LGBTQ+ rights "a disgrace."

A defiant defended the group's performance in the interest of "Unity, tolerance, understanding, oneness, respect, diversity [and] inclusion."

He added that "people are people" and that everyone should "practice to honor [and] love all the different types of people on earth [and] learn from them."

Although Warchol later accused the Black Eyed Peas of selling their "principles for profit" by not boycotting the recent World Cup over Qatar's "treatment of women, migrants, and the LGBTQ+ community," was firm that boycotting the World Cup was not the right call.

He wrote:

"We went to these places to spread LOVE... why boycott when you can go directly to the source that needs to be inspired and try your hardest to inspire them and spread LOVE... it's called #LOVE." later published a video to his Instagram Stories taking aim at PiS and defending the Black Eyed Peas' decision to wear the rainbow armbands and perform in Poland, which has one of the worst LGBTQ+ human rights records in Europe.

He said:

“We are the Black Eyed Peas… not the Black Eyed PiS. We stand for unity, love, tolerance, oneness."
"Listen to our music. Songs like ‘Union’, ‘One Tribe’. Sometimes you’ve got to go where people don’t have the same views to inspire them on difference, to inspire them on what tolerance looks like."
"And so it’s been great being here. Poland is an awesome country. My times coming to Poland have always been awesome.”

You can see his video below.

Many have praised and the Black Eyed Peas for speaking out.

Polish society tends to hold conservative views about issues dealing with LGBTQ+ rights. A majority of the Polish population is affiliated with the Catholic Church, and as such, public perception and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community are strongly influenced by Catholic moral doctrines.

Although acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community has increased since the 1990s and early 2000s, Poland is the only country in central Europe that does not ban all anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.