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EU Denies Funds to Polish Towns that Declare Themselves "LGBT-free"

"Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it's a good place to start."

-Jason Collins

•The statement has great significance after six polish towns declared themselves

“L.G.B.T.-free zones,” followed by swift action from the European Union, stating that they will not provide funding to them.

•Essentially, individuals in these areas who conform to LGBT identities are directly or indirectly oppressed. But, this issue has changed from simply an intercultural issue to a humanitarian one.

•The amount of money in question is around $6,000 to $29,000, it is modest compared to

the bigger picture, but this issue sets a precedent symbolically, not financially. While these funds are not so significant to the expenses and incomes of the polish towns, it carries weight in the manner of directly confronting certain behaviour.

•Close to a 100 local governments have declared themselves free from the LGBT ideology. This implies that around a third of Poland is majorly opposed to EU's action.

●The EU has justified their action by saying, "EU values and fundamental rights must be respected by member states and public authorities,”. They added, "The call for proposals for the twinning programme stipulates that it must be accessible to all European citizens without any form of discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation,”

●In Poland, these measures seem extreme with the leader of the governing party, Jaroslaw Kaczynsk, stating that the poles shall not “stand under the rainbow flag” and that homosexuality represents a “threat to Polish identity, to our nation, to its existence and thus to the Polish state.” Additionally, Poland is now the most homophobic nation in the EU.

●As a whole, this event has the power to dictate policy-making in such countries. In fact, it sets a precedent for how international organisations must handle homophobic behaviour.

Reporter: Rahul K.