Metro Weekly

Joe Biden criticizes ‘LGBT-free zones’ in Poland

Biden said the exclusionary zones have "no place" in the EU or "anywhere in the world"

joe biden, poland, lgbt, europe
Joe Biden – Photo: Gage Skidmore.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has slammed co-called “LGBT-free zones” in Poland.

The former Vice President responded to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who used her first State of the Union address to criticize the exclusionary zones that have emerged in the Eastern European country, the Associated Press reports.

A number of towns, cities, and regions in Poland have passed ordinances banning the promotion of LGBTQ rights, establishing the “LGBT-free zones,” and come amid rising anti-LGBTQ animus in the country.

Von der Leyen characterized the “LGBT-free zones” as “humanity-free zones,” and said they have “no place in our Union.” She also said that the commission, the European Union’s politically independent executive arm, would introduce a plan to improve LGBTQ equality in Europe.

Biden responded to von der Leyen’s comments in a tweet, which included the AP‘s reporting.

“Let me be clear: LGBTQ+ rights are human rights — and “LGBT-free zones” have no place in the European Union or anywhere in the world,” he wrote.

Around one-third of people in Poland now live in one of the “LGBT-free zones,” which have flourished under the ruling Law and Justice Party, which has repeatedly targeted the country’s LGBTQ population since assuming power in 2015.

Earlier this year, Polish lawmakers introduced the “Stop Pedophilia” bill, which aimed to ban sex education by labeling teachers as gay activists and pedophiles.

And last year, the Law and Justice Party used the specter of LGBTQ rights to drive people to the polls for the European Parliament Elections, portraying LGBTQ rights as dangerous “foreign” ideas that undermine traditional values in the heavily Catholic country, as well as a “real threat to our identity, to our nation.”

During her State of the Union address, von der Leyen rejected the notion that LGBTQ rights pose a threat to others.

“I will not rest when it comes to building a union of equality,” the Commission President said. “A Union where you can be who you are and love who you want — without fear of recrimination or discrimination.

“Because being yourself is not your ideology,” she said. “It’s your identity. And no one can ever take it away.”


National LGBT Chamber of Commerce endorses Joe Biden, calls him ‘champion for inclusion’

British ambassador combats anti-LGBTQ attitudes in Poland with rainbow mask

Gay couple in Poland is creating rainbow face masks to fight COVID-19 and homophobia

Read more:

Whitman-Walker’s “Walk to End HIV” to take place virtually on Oct. 24

Former Kroger employees claim they were fired for refusing to wear aprons with “rainbow” hearts

Mitch McConnell: “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote.”

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!