Polish Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk, Margaret Atwood, JM Coetzee, Ian McEwan, Slavoj Žižek and Judith Butler are amongst greater than 70 signatories to an open letter by authors, actors and administrators condemning the rise of homophobia and transphobia in Poland below president Andrzej Duda.
In a letter addressed to the president of the European Fee, Ursula von der Leyen, the signatories write to “voice our grave concern about the future of democracy in Poland, a country with an admirable history of resistance to totalitarianism and struggle for freedom” and specific their outrage at “repressions directed against the LGBT+ community in Poland”.
Different signatories embody movie administrators Pedro Almodóvar, Yorgos Lanthimos, Mike Leigh, Luca Guadagnino and Paweł Pawlikowski, who’s Polish; actors Ed Harris, Isabelle Huppert and Stellan Skarsgaard; and writers John Banville and Sebastian Barry, Deborah Levy, Édouard Louis and Valeria Luiselli.
The letter, began by Tokarczuk, movie director Agnieszka Holland and sociologist Agnieszka Graff, comes amid intensifying anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric by authorities officers and state media, and a crackdown on LGBTQ+ equality protests after the latest re-election of Duda, main the populist Legislation and Justice (PiS) social gathering, for a second five-year time period.
Since taking energy in 2015, Duda has railed towards LGBTQ+ rights as an “ideology” and international import that threatens Poland’s Christian values. With greater than 86% of the inhabitants figuring out as Roman Catholic, Duda has proposed the institution of a “Family Charter”, which might ban “the propogation of LGBTQ+ ideology in schools and public institutions” and cease LGBTQ+ folks getting married or having kids. Anti-LGBTQ+ assaults are at present not thought-about a hate crime below Polish legislation.
Authorities in one-third of municipalities throughout Poland have declared themselves “LGBT-free zones” since 2019, a non-binding, however menacing decision calling for the top of tolerance of LGBTQ+ people. Final month, the European Union introduced that it could lower funding to 6 Polish cities that made this declaration, whereas one Dutch city, Nieuwegein, voted to sever longstanding ties with its twin city, Puławy in jap Poland, over the problem.
The letter calls consideration to the case of Margot, a non-binary activist who was positioned in pre-trial detention for 2 months on 7 August. In June, she was accused of assaulting a van driver who was broadcasting homophobic slurs from a loudspeaker. In July, together with three others, she was arrested once more for “insulting religious feelings and insulting Warsaw monuments” by placing rainbow flags on statues all through the town.
On 7 August, after her detention, lots of of protesters took to the streets of Warsaw with indicators studying “Give us back Margot” and “We are behind Margot”. Some 48 folks had been arrested on prices of participating in an unlawful gathering. In a nod to the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion in New York, a landmark protest in LGBTQ+ rights, Polish Twitter customers documented the protests utilizing #PolishStonewall.
The letter calls Margot’s actions “neither ‘hooliganism’ nor ‘provocations’, as Poland’s government-run media insist, but rather desperate acts of resistance against degrading homophobic hate speech.”
The letter goes on: “The van is one in all many comparable automobiles parading outrageous claims across the cities of Poland: equating homosexuality with paedophilia, and asserting that gays are the supply of ailments and a menace to kids. Efforts to cease this well-funded hate marketing campaign by authorized means had led to nothing.
“Homophobic aggression in Poland is growing because it is condoned by the ruling party, which has chosen sexual minorities as a scapegoat with no regard for the safety and well-being of citizens. Margot is, in fact, a political prisoner, held captive for her refusal to accept indignity.”
The signatories name upon the Polish authorities to “stop targeting sexual minorities” and on the European Fee to “take immediate steps to defend core European values – equality, non-discrimination, respect for minorities – which are being blatantly violated in Poland. LGBT+ rights are human rights and must be defended as such.”