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Polish MPs make powerful show of LGBTQ solidarity as anti-gay president is sworn in

As self-proclaimed 'LGBT-free' zones spread across the country, LGBTQ people have at least a few allies in parliament.

By Will Stroude

A group of opposition Polish MPs showed they won’t be cowed by growing anti-LGBTQ sentiment in the country after wearing rainbow colours and Pride flag facemasks during the swearing in ceremony of President Andrzej Duda on Thursday (6 August).

The small group of politicians, many from the left-wing Razem party, expertly trolled the Polish premier – who narrowly won re-election last month after a campaign which stoked anti-gay feeling in the country – as they created a ‘human Pride flag’ with their colourful outfits outside parliament.

Inside, the group donned facemasks emblazoned with Pride flag in a silent but colourful act of defiance.

“The President of Poland should defend the rights of all citizens,” wrote Razem’s Magda Biejat, who was one of the MP’s taking part in Thursday’s action.

Duda, who vowed to introduce a constitional amendment banning adoption by same-sex couples during his campaign, was re-elected for a second five-year term with 51% of votes last month.

His first term in office saw increased public hostility towards LGBTQ people in Poland, with self-declared ‘LGBT-free zones’ first being reported in towns across the country in summer 2019.

Since then, the zones, which have no standing in law, have spread to around a third of Poland’s local municipalities.