Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield met today with the Polish Ambassador to Ireland, Anna Sochańska, to discuss how recent events, including the Presidential election, have dramatically worsened the rhetoric surrounding the rights of LGBTI people in Poland.
Senator Warfield expressed his horror at the recent announcement of local authorities, equivalent to a third of Poland, to declare themselves “LGBTI-free Zones”.
“Today, I made clear to the Polish Ambassador my horror and alarm that local authorities – representing a third of Poland – have declared themselves to be ‘LGBTI-free Zones’.
“I expressed my concern for the safety of LGBTI people and their allies in these regions and for anyone who might be perceived as different. I stressed that this could be seen as a precedent and sought assurances that there would be no acceleration of similar moves.
“We agreed that dialogue between representatives in Ireland and Poland needs to take place in order for all parties to clearly understand their respective positions. I was happy that the Ambassador is willing to help facilitate such dialogue with Polish parliamentarians.
“The good relationship between Ireland and Poland can be seen in the many Irish towns and cities twinned with Polish ones. I would therefore call on Cobh, Bundoran and Kilkenny City, if they have not already done so, to engage with their twinned towns and cities in Poland that have recently declared themselves as ‘LGBTI-free zones’.
“I think it is imperative that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, meets with Ambassador Sochańska to outline the government’s position and that he urgently raises the issue with his fellow European Foreign Ministers.”