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Polish town replaces anti-LGBT resolution w/ anti-discrimination declaration amid EU funding threat

A town that, nearly four years ago, was among the first of many in Poland to adopt a resolution declaring itself “free from LGBT ideology” has now replaced the document with one expressing opposition to discrimination, including against sexual minorities.

The decision by councillors in Świdnik, a town of 40,000 in eastern Poland, came amid fears that it could lose millions of euros in European funds due to its anti-LGBT declaration.

The initial resolution adopted by Świdnik council in March 2019 pledged to “stop LGBT ideology” and fight “homopropaganda”. It was passed with the votes of councillors linked to Poland’s nationally ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has led a long-running anti-LGBT campaign.

The town was one of dozens in Poland to introduce such declarations. Many others adopted “Family Charters” that do not mention LGBT specifically but express opposition to same-sex marriage and pledge to “protect children from moral corruption” (language often used as part of PiS’s anti-LGBT rhetoric).

As a result, in 2021 Świdnik reportedly lost out on 40 million zloty of funds from Norway after the Norwegian government said that it would not allow grants to go to places in Poland that had passed anti-LGBT resolutions. The European Commission has also sought to prevent such places from receiving EU funds.

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