LGBTQ+ activists recently clashed with far right anti-queer nationalist protesters in the Polish capital of Warsaw. The anti-LGBTQ+ gathering was organised by nationalist group All-Poland Youth and some members of the collective were said to have burnt a rainbow flag, while the LGBTQ+ activists painted a rainbow on the street.
There were no reports of physical violence between the two groups as police separated the protestors who shouted abuse at one another. Former leader of All-Poland Youth, Krzysztof Bosak, said in a speech during the demonstrations that the LGBTQ+ community promoted a ‘toxic ideology’ and it was ‘moral duty’ to oppose the pro-LGBTQ+ left wing.
The conflict surrounding LGBTQ+ rights in Poland has consistently worsened following the re-election of homophobic president Andrzej Duda who described LGBTQ+ activism as more destructive than 20th century communism. In Duda’s election campaign he vowed to ban same-sex marriage and ‘protect children from LGBTQ+ ideology’.
The growing hostility towards the queer population has caused some LGBTQ+ Poles to flee the country. A gay polish man, Piotr Grabarczyk, recently told the Los Angeles Times that he moved to Barcelona to escape the ‘scary’ situation in Poland. It is not known how many LGBTQ+ people have fled the country so far.