The lower house of Poland’s parliament has passed a bill that critics say will prevent schools from addressing LGBTQ+ issues.
The bill passed in the lower house on January 13 by a vote of 227 to 214, the Washington Blade reports. It now moves to the upper house of the parliament, where it is predicted to face opposition.
The bill was introduced by members of the conservative Law and Justice party (PiS), which has long been hostile to LGBTQ+ rights in the Eastern European country. Reuters reports that the current Education Minister Przemyslaw Czarnek, who is known for his extreme anti-LGBTQ+ views, has claimed that the bill would allow school supervisors appointed by the government “to block any programing that would be ‘a threat to the morality of children,’ in particular when it comes to sexual education.”
In addition to banning information regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, Reuters reports that the bill would also block information pertaining to reproductive rights.
Poland’s ruling PiS party, led by President Andrzej Duda, has imposed increasing restrictions on Poland’s LGBTQ+ community since coming to power. One-third of the country has been declared “LGBT Free” although some of these regions have rescinded the designation following retaliatory cuts in funding from the European Union.
Last summer, Hungary’s ruling conservative party passed a similar anti-LGBTQ+ bill that bans the distribution of LGBTQ+-related material to anyone under the age of 18.The ban includes material distributed or discussed in school health and sexual education classes. The law, which has been criticized by LGBTQ+ rights organizations and human rights groups, will go to a referendum vote in the April general election.
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