How will the LGBT issue play out in Poland’s European Parliament election? – Aleks Szczerbiak

The Polish Politics Blog

While Poles appear to be increasingly tolerant of LGBT lifestyles, beyond the larger towns and cities the country remains culturally conservative and acceptance declines when the agenda moves into the realm of sex education and family life. Although a risky strategy, raising the salience of this controversial issue draws out divisions within the opposition and could mobilise the right-wing ruling party’s small-town and rural core supporters in a European Parliament election where turnout will be key.

Mobilising conservative voters

In February, Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski published a 12-point charter pledging support for the city’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. Mr Trzaskowski was elected last October as the candidate of the liberal-centrist Civic Platform (PO), Poland’s ruling party between 2007-15 and currently the main opposition grouping. Most controversially, the ‘LGBT plus’ rights declaration included a proposal to introduce a comprehensive, LGBT-approved sex and anti-discrimination education programme based on World…

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