Poland’s ragingly homophobic president claims he had a ‘constructive’ meeting with an LGBT+ activist. The activist tells a different story

Patrick Kelleher June 18, 2020
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Andrzej Duda Poland LGBT

Andrzej Duda (JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty)

The president of Poland has claimed he had a “good and constructive” meeting with an LGBT+ activist – but the activist tells a different story.

Andrzej Duda, who is currently campaigning for re-election, has made his anti-LGBT+ views a large part of his platform.

In a “family charter” published last week, Duda pledged to “prohibit the propagation of this ideology” in public institutions, “defend the institution of marriage” as defined as a “relationship between a women and a man”, and in a recent speech compared “LGBT+ ideology” to Soviet Union-era communist indoctrination.

After Duda was greeted by pro-LGBT+ protesters on the campaign trail earlier this week, he invited activists to meet with him.

President of Poland Andrzej Duda claimed to have a ‘good and constructive’ meeting with an LGBT+ activist, but the activist disagreed.

Only one activist showed up to that meeting, with others refusing to take part unless he issued a public apology, according to the Associated Press.

A spokesperson for the president insisted that the meeting between Duda and Bartosz Staszewski was “good and constructive”, but Staszewski had a very different perspective.

He said he brought photos of young LGBT+ people from Poland who had died by suicide as well as a book about the gay people incacerated in Auschwitz and laid them out on a table in front of the president.

The 29-year-old filmmaker said he wanted to show Duda that he is “not an ideology”, but the meeting reportedly did not go to plan.

Life for LGBT+ people in the country has become increasingly difficult.

Staszewski said they spoke for almost an hour about LGBT+ issues, but the activist eventually stormed out without shaking the president’s hand after Duda tried to defend his anti-LGBT+ comments by invoking free speech.

Poland has become increasingly anti-LGBT+ under the populist governing party, Law and Justice.

Lawmakers have rolled back on LGBT+ rights, and people at Pride parades have reported being pelted with rocks.

Earlier this year, it was reported that a third of Poland had declared itself an “LGBT-free zone”, making life for queer people increasingly difficult.

More: Andrzej Duda., Homophobia, Law and Justice, LGBT, Poland

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