Several left-leaning Polish MPs decided to protest the swearing-in if Poland's anti-LGBTQ+ President in a very creative way: they dressed in rainbow colors for the ceremony.
🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️Today during the inauguration of the homophobic president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, politicians from the… https://t.co/o5wy1zTTPK— Sara #PolishStonewall (@Sara #PolishStonewall)1596715369.0
President Andrzej Duda—a favorite of President Donald Trump—was sworn in on August 6th, marking the beginning of his second term as President.
Duda repeatedly lashed out at same-sex couples during his campaign for re-election, even going so far as to promistle to ban adoption by same-sex couples.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda says "LGBT rights an 'ideology' more destructive than communism". Polish cities dec… https://t.co/W03L3HB1X3— Anonymous (@Anonymous)1596637353.0
According to Pink News, many of Poland's LGBTQ+ population have reported leaving Poland in hopes of finding a better life elsewhere, given that the President is so against them.
In response to Duda's re-election on such a hateful platform, MPs from the left-wing alliance Lewica chose to coordinate their outfits to form a rainbow flag in Parliament during the ceremony.
When President Andrzej Duda of Poland (who said LGBT are not people and are more destructive than communism) was sw… https://t.co/mZG7kB4Y0U— Amee Vanderpool (@Amee Vanderpool)1596805678.0
Magda Biejat, MP from the Razem party, said:
"The President of Poland should defend the rights of all citizens."
One LGBTQ+ activist from Krakow, Magda Dropek, told Pink News she was really touched.
"For me it was a strong message that we are not left behind. I know that the next few years will be difficult for our community but we won't give up."
The demonstration resonated with folks on Twitter as well.
👏 to the MPs who made a stand today for the rights of LGBTI + 🏳️🌈 people in Poland! The Polish Government must un… https://t.co/fbpfzy5LAg— Guy Verhofstadt (@Guy Verhofstadt)1596809194.0
Today in #Sejm @AndrzejDuda is being sworn in as Polish president. Members of Left coalition came in rainbow mask a… https://t.co/2kyraDypMr— Magda Dropek (@Magda Dropek)1596701904.0
“President Duda wraps himself in the Polish flag. Today these proud Polish MPs wrapped themselves in the rainbow fl… https://t.co/HpQHZh1ibo— Stefan Simanowitz (@Stefan Simanowitz)1596713217.0
This demonstration by MPs means a lot, but all is not well for LGBT+ people in Poland.
Human Rights Watch is calling for an end to the recent crackdown on LGBTQ+ activists, which resulted in the arrest of around 50 activists during a standoff with police over the arrest of a trans activist named Margot.
Margot and other activists were arrested for placing rainbow flags on Warsaw statues, which police are calling "insulting religious feelings and insulting Warsaw monuments."
The activists were also arrested for "insulting religious feelings." Mermaid statues are notoriously sensitive ab… https://t.co/ueSY0cOTDV— Andrew Stroehlein (@Andrew Stroehlein)1596613448.0
While this may seem like a humorous charge, due to Poland's fairly vague blasphemy laws, it's actually quite serious. "Insulting religious feelings" is a charge that can carry up to a 2 year prison sentence if convicted.
See also: https://t.co/y9Hq5S4sHZ— Andrew Stroehlein (@Andrew Stroehlein)1596619775.0
Amid rising tensions between LGBT+ activists and Polish police, this demonstration by allied MPs is an indicator that all hope is not lost—but there is still a lot of work to do.