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Anti-LGBTQ+ withdrawn. “Atlas of Hate” is shrinking

Anti-LGBTQ+ withdrawn. "Atlas of Hate" is shrinking

Image source: © canva
Marta Grzeszczuk,
20.10.2023 14:15

The "Atlas of Hate" is an interactive map of local government units which introduced anti-LGBTQ+ resolutions. Thanks to activists and the EU's firm stance, it covers fewer and fewer places in Poland each month.

In 2019, the councillors of the Przysucha county in the Mazovian Voivodeship adopted a resolution in line with the trend of setting up the so-called "LGBT-free zones". It was drafted by Ordo Iuris, an ultra-conservative Polish Catholic legal organization and think tank. The resolution proclaimed the "sanctity of marriage as a union between a man and a woman". It also prohibited the funding of projects that "harm the autonomy of the family". Local government officials endorsing the resolution opposed, among other things, the introduction of sex education in schools recommended by the World Health Organisation standards.

Ordo Iuris sued the activists

Przysucha county ended up on an interactive map atlasnienawisci.pl ("Atlas of Hate") which lists local authorities enshrining bigotry and homophobia in their resolutions. This did not please the Przysucha councillors, who, through lawyers from Ordo Iuris, accused the activists creating the Atlas of violating their good name and "stigmatising" the county.

On 18 October 2023, Judge Bartłomiej Drotkiewicz informed the defendant that the county of Przysucha had withdrawn the action and waived the claim. "According to the court, a letter withdrawing the action was sent even before the 15 October election day," lawyer Karolina Gierdal told oko.press. The county will also pay the legal costs of PLN 21.6 thousand - the equivalent of the damages it sued the activists for.

So far, the "Atlas of Hate" creators have won four out of the seven proceedings against them in the courts. The Przysucha County case was the oldest of these.

"Atlas of Hate" is shrinking

On 16 October, the councillors of Przysucha rescinded the discriminatory resolution, explicitly justifying it by the impossibility of receiving nearly 4.8 million PLN from EU funds if it remained in force. The European Commission has already unequivocally confirmed in May 2023 that local authorities that legally discriminate against the LGBTQ+ minority will not have access to EU money.

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We have already written about the fact that municipalities that enacted discriminatory laws with open hostility towards non-heteronormative people, fuelled by the Law and Justice government as well, are withdrawing from them en masse. Primarily because of the financial consequences. On 20 October, the "Atlas of Hate" activists reported that the resolution would also be repealed by the county of Przasnysz.

According to people behind the "Atlas of Hate", there were around 105 anti-LGBTQ+ resolutions in Poland in 2020. They were in force in one third of the country. On 9 October 2023, there were only 21, covering less than 3% of Poland. This is still 3% too many.

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