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Three Polish regions repeal 'LGBT-free zone' declarations

The European Union had previously threatened to withdraw funding from the regions.
People march in the \"Equality Parade\" in Gdansk, Poland, on Aug. 21, 2021.
People march in the "Equality Parade" in Gdansk, Poland, on Aug. 21, 2021.Piotr Lapinski / NurPhoto via Getty Images file
/ Source: Reuters

WARSAW -Three Polish regional councils voted on Monday to repeal motions declaring their provinces "LGBT-free zones," state-run news agency PAP reported, after the European Union threatened to withdraw funding.

Numerous local authorities in Poland declared themselves free of "LGBT ideology" in 2019, part of a conflict in the predominantly Catholic country between liberals and religious conservatives, who see the struggle for gay rights as a threat to traditional values.

This set Poland on a collision course with the European Commission, which says the zones may violate E.U. law regarding nondiscrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

Officials in the southeasterly Podkarpackie and Lubelskie provinces and in the southerly Malopolskie province, three of nearly a hundred municipalities and provinces that adopted motions declaring themselves free of "LGBT ideology," all voted to repeal the motions on Monday.

In Podkarpackie, a new resolution entitled "Podkarpackie as a region of well-established tolerance" was passed. In Lubelskie, officials passed a motion entitled "On the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms".

"We see a special need to protect schools and families and the right of every person to self-determination," PAP quoted the latter document as saying.

"At the same time, we support the right of parents to raise their children according to their beliefs," it said.

The European Commission wrote to five Polish regional councils at the beginning of September urging them to abandon declarations that they are "LGBT-free" in order to receive funding.

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