Photo Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality, Credit - European Parliament
The European Union has blocked funding to six Polish cities, making up nearly a third of Poland, because of their attitude toward the LGBTQ community.
According to a statement from the EU’s commissioner for Equality, six towns in Poland have adopted homophobic policies, calling themselves ‘LGBT-free zones,’ directly contradicting the EU’s belief in equity for all people.
The six cities applied for a grant between €5,000 and €25,000 under the “twinning program” of Europe for citizens project, which aims to stimulate debate and civic participation on EU policies.
The rejected applications were based on not being in line with the program’s objectives of “equal access and non-discrimination.”
Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality, went to Twitter to say;
“EU values and fundamental rights must be respected by member states and public authorities.”
However, Poland’s Minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziobro, has condemned the EU’s decision, taking to Facebook to say;
“we will not allow discrimination of Polish citizens and local governments by the EU.”
Polish attitudes towards homosexuality have often been criticized, with 80 municipalities in Poland declaring themselves “free of LGBT ideology.”
Same-sex marriage is not legal, and the overwhelmingly Catholic country remains one of the most conservative and restrictive in Europe for the LGBTQ community.