The LGBT community in Poland are facing growing hostility. The recently re-elected president Andrzej Duda is said to have conducted a campaign that actively deployed anti-LGBT rhetoric as an election strategy, describing LGBT “ideology” as more dangerous than communism. Right-wing protesters burned a rainbow flag in the street and several Polish municipalities have declared their territory as an “LGBT-Free Zone”, leading to sanctions by the European Commission. When the Southern town of Tuchów proclaimed itself “free of LGBT ideology”, the EU removed its partnership with French town Saint-Jean-de-Braye and withdrew funding.Recently, there have been a wave of protests in support of the LGBT community, who continue to receive fewer rights than they would in most other countries in Europe. Civil partnerships and same-sex marriages are not currently recognized. Some couples choose to travel abroad to tie the knot, including Krystian and Piotr who married in London six years ago. They have two teenage daughters who were born from an in vitro procedure with a friend, who volunteered to give custody to Piotr. The adoption of children by same-sex couples in Poland currently is banned. To escape the hostility, some have become members of the Bears of Poland, who provide advice and social events to support to its members. The story starts at a Bears of Poland event on a wild beach in Gdynia, where members swam and relaxed together.
Poland's LGBT rights