Some Polish regions revoke ‘LGBT-free’ status after threat of EU funding

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Three Polish regional councils voted on Monday to overturn their status as “LGBT-free zones” after the European Union threatened to withhold millions of dollars in aid because of their anti-LGBT stance.

The members of the Council of the Podkarpackie and Lubelskie provinces, located in south-eastern Poland, and those of the southern province of Malopolskie all voted in favor of quashing the motions they had in place and declaring themselves free from “LGBT ideology,” according to Reuters.

The Swietokrzyskie region in southern Poland voted last week to overturn a motion passed in June 2019 that said it was free from “LGBT ideology,” according to Reuters.

These provinces are four of nearly 100 municipalities and provinces that have reportedly approved measures claiming they are free from LGBT beliefs.

The reversals come after the European Commission sent letters to the governors of five Polish provinces that have anti-LGBT zones earlier this month, warning them that it would withhold $ 150 million in aid if the zones didn’t were not revoked.

Funding comes from the React-EU program, which was intended to help with recovery efforts. Poland has received more than 1.5 billion euros, the equivalent of 1.78 billion dollars in aid.

The letters followed a notice from the commission issued in July warning it that it would take legal action against Hungary and Poland for its anti-LGBT policies.

Podkarpackie Council members passed a new resolution titled “Podkarpackie as a well-established region of tolerance,” and individuals from Lubelskie approved a measure titled “On the Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms,” according to Reuters.

Lubelskie’s resolution said: “We see a special need to protect schools and families and the right of every person to self-determination”, adding “At the same time, we support the right of parents to raise their children according to their beliefs, “according to the newswire.

The Hill has contacted the European Commission for comment.

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