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Pro-LGBT parade to be held in Poland amid national election campaign

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Pro-LGBT parade to be held in Poland amid national election campaign

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto

As Poland’s October 13 parliamentary elections approach, the country’s LGBT community will hold a parade in Lublin today, the latest in a series of parades that have turned into protests in the last two months.

A 1997 constitutional amendment made same-sex marriage illegal in Poland. Currently, only 32% of Polish citizens support a reversal of that amendment.

Since coming to power in 2013, the right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS) has blocked numerous pieces of legislation that have sought to introduce civil partnerships for same-sex marriages. PiS has taken an even stronger stance against same-sex marriage in its campaign rhetoric this year, framing the debate around national security and education in an effort to tap into a conservative, Catholic voting base.

With all 560 MPs—460 in the lower house and 100 in the upper house—facing reelection in October, Poland is entering a hyper-politicised period. While the opposition PO party, which has majority control in districts near Warsaw, has adopted more LGBT-friendly policy stances, the small momentum it has gained in the capital and other cities, like Lublin, is not likely to impact national policies. Indeed, PiS is leading PO 44% to 26% in election polls, making the incumbent party all the more likely to double down on its current stances.

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