Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran and the Liberal Democrats have launched a major new campaign asking local councils twinned with towns in Poland to a period of engagement to reflect the need for education and humanity in the face of the 100+ "LGBT ideology free" zones created so far in Poland.
Calling on UK towns to "protect our twins", Layla said many UK councils are twinned with Polish towns where communities are now under threat, people are discriminated against and human rights have been attacked. Many twinning relationships date back generations and signify deep cultural ties. Liberal Democrats value the twinning relationships and are asking other parties to join us to "protect our twins". As part of the campaign, councils are being asked to pass motions to begin a formal period of diplomacy to reflect the need for education and humanity.
Launching the campaign, campaign leader Layla Moran MP said:
"Events in Poland should concern the whole international community. Labelling LGBTQ+ as an 'ideology' and suppressing LGBTQ+ people is outrageous. Many of these towns are twinned with those here in the UK. We cannot stand by. We must protect our twins and the communities who live there."
Anna Grodzka, human rights campaigner, former Polish MP and the first openly trans MP in Poland said:
"The President of the Republic of Poland publicly calls LGBT people as "ideology", the Catholic Church calls us "rainbow plague" and the Minister of Education publicly declared that we "are not human" and that we "have no rights". That situation gives public consent to hate, hate crimes and hate speech against the LGBT community. This is too hard for many people to bear. Your gesture of solidarity and willingness to help is very valuable to us. This is all the more valuable as LGBT people and women have found themselves in a particularly difficult situation in recent months in Poland."
"We welcome your initiative to engage constructively with the towns and cities of Poland to reflect on human rights, particularly on LGBT+ rights. This crucially important to take action against the systematic discrimination of minorities in Poland and promote European values on all levels of Government. We are convinced that European liberals still have an important role to play here and this initiative of the UK Liberal Democrats will be a great example of mobilization for Human Rights beyond the borders.