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The end of anti-LGBT zones in Poland – #InfringementNOW Campaign

The Campaign Against Homophobia does not stop in the fight against LGBT-free zones. After last September, when KPH together with All Out handed over a 350,000 signatures petition on homophobia in Poland to the Commissioner Helena Dalli and displayed an appeal on the building of the European Commission, the time has come for the #InfringementNOW campaign. KPH, using Twitter and the infringement procedure, wants to put pressure on EU commissioners to send back the so-called anti-LGBT zones to the homophobic dustbin of Polish history.

Ursula von der Leyen has repeatedly condemned homophobia in Poland, but words are not enough. LGBT-free zones clearly violate EU law, so it is high time for the European Commission to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union – indicates the program director of KPH, Mirosława Makuchowska.

Hence the idea of the #InfringementNOW campaign under which, in January, EU commissioners, such as Helena Dalli, Didier Reynders, and Věra Jourová will be bombarded with stories of people from the LGBT community indicating the necessity to initiate an infringement procedure against Poland.

 1. Infringement procedure – what is it and what it relies on?

The infringement procedure is a legal mechanism using which it can be verified whether a given EU Member State has breached EU law.

2. Why do we want to launch an infringement procedure against Poland?

The European Union membership obliges to respect the rights of citizens of the Member States, and violation of these rights by state authorities may be met with consequences.

The initiation of the infringement procedure is aimed at seeking whether the violation took place. If the violations continue, despite warnings from the European Commission, a given country may be fined (as it happened in the case of deforestation of the Białowieża Primeval Forest when the government agreed to stop deforestation after Poland faced a possibility of a 100,000 EUR penalty to be paid per day if the action continues).

The LGBT-free zones resolutions or the so-called Local government Charter of the Rights of the Family cards are a blatant example of violating the EU law. They are discriminatory and are in conflict with the fundamental values of the European Union enshrined in Art. 2 of the Treaty on European Union, such as respect for human dignity and rights, freedom and equality. Therefore, KPH is demanding that the European Commission initiated an infringement procedure against Poland.

3. What benefits will the implementation of the infringement procedure bring for Poland and the LGBT community?

Launching of the infringement procedure and the related threat of financial penalties may discourage subsequent local governments from adopting discriminatory resolutions as well as persuade those local governments that have adopted the so-called anti-LGBT resolutions or the Local government Charter of the Rights of the Family cards to repeal those.

4. What is the #InfringementNOW campaign?

For the next 30 days, KPH will be tweeting  to EU commissioners one story of an LGBT person living in Poland, showing how LGBT-free zones affect their lives.

5. Where do the stories featured in the #InfringementNOW campaign tweets come from?

The stories featured in the #InfringementNOW campaign tweets come from people who sent complaints about LGBT-free zones to the European Commission. For the safety of the authors of complaints, the names, and other information that could lead to their recognition have been changed.

6. To whom are tweets being sent as part of the #InfringementNOW campaign?

Tweets will be sent from the Campaign Against Homophobia’s account to EU Commissioners who make decisions about initiating the infringement procedure. Among the four commissioners, there are, among others Helena Dalli, Didier Reynders, and Věra Jourová.

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