The Polish Minister of State Assets said that “all of Poland should be an LGBT-free zone” during an interview with the Polish language Rzeczpospolita. Janusz Kowalski made the remarks in response to news the European Union is withholding funds from the growing number of towns declaring themselves LGBT-free zones in the central European country.
“Our constitution explicitly states that the family is a union of a woman and a man,” Kowalski is quoted by Fakt 24. “All leftist ideologies that hit the traditional family and promote such relations as a man plus a man plus a child are inconsistent with the Polish constitution and cultural heritage.”
Kowalski went on to say the LGBTQ+ community and issues like marriage equality strike at the “DNA of the Polish family,” and that Poland is right in rejecting what he calls “this extreme ideology.”
Nearly a third of towns in Poland have declared themselves LGBT-free zones. Two courts issues separate decisions recently that struck down the zones as outside the authority of local town councils and unlawful. The decisions are isolated and can be appealed, though.
The EU announced earlier they were suspending funds from any municipality that declared itself an LGBT-free zone. This follows news last month that the town of Nieuwegein in the Netherlands ended it’s sister-city relationship with the Polish town of Puławy after learning the homophobic municipality had declared itself an LGBT-free zone.
These attitudes reflect a disturbing trend of rising intolerance in the country. Homophobic incumbent Polish president Andrzej Duda was reelected earlier this month to a second term in office. The 48-year-old Polish lawyer and politician campaigned on a “Family Card” of proposals that included outlawing marriage equality and preventing child adoption by LGBTQ+ families.
Kowalski has made several controversial and hateful statements regarding the LGBTQ+ community in recent days. Last week he supported the country’s withdrawal from a European treaty dealing with violence against women, saying it required teaching children there are “56 genders and we can choose our preferences.”
“This is crazy,” he tweeted.