A region in southern Poland has revoked a controversial anti-LGBT resolution over fears of losing funding from the European Union, making it the first to ditch its declaration of being an LGBT-free zone.
On Wednesday, the regional assembly of Świętokrzyskie voted in a special session to scrap the ruling, with 25 ministers voting in favor of removing the declaration. None opposed the notion, but three abstained.
The motion had been passed to mark the region’s “opposition to the attempts to introduce LGBT ideology to local government communities and the promotion of this ideology in public life” in 2019.
Earlier this month, Brussels gave the governments of five Polish provinces an ultimatum: either lift the controversial anti-LGBT declarations, or lose EU funding.
Another, in the staunchly Catholic region of southern Malopolska, however, took a different stance, voting last month against repealing its LGBT-free status. Member of the European Parliament Robert Biedroń lambasted the move as “throwing €2.5 billion [$3 billion] down the drain,” after Malopolska was warned it could lose this sum, and more, if it maintained its stance.
The EU has long been at loggerheads with Warsaw and Budapest over the treatment of their LGBT populations. In July, the European Commission announced it was commencing legal procedures against the two central European nations for violating the human rights of this social group.
Warsaw came under fire from the commission for its self-declared LGBT-free zones, which the EU argues runs counter to the bloc’s promotion of non-discrimination. Around 100 towns – equating to a third of Poland’s territory – had given themselves this title.
Earlier this year, the European Parliament declared the 27-member state bloc an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone” partly in response to Poland’s measures.
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