Poland’s right-wing president says he can’t be homophobic because gay people visit him at his palace

Andrzej Duda considers same-sex civil partnerships

In an unexpected move, Poland’s right-wing and historically anti-LGBT+ president has indicated that he would be willing to legalise same-sex civil partnerships in the country.

But according to Notes From Poland, president Andrzej Duda said in an interview with Wprost that he would  “seriously consider signing a bill” to introduce civil partnerships, “especially if it applied to all those living in informal relationships.”

He said that he wants couples in “informal relationships” to have some rights only afforded to married couples, such as accessing their partner’s medical information when they are in hospital.

Duda also said that he definitely isn’t homophobic because sometimes gay people visit him at the presidential palace.

“I assure you that in the presidential palace I am often visited by people who have a different sexual orientation than mine,” he said. “This is not the slightest problem for me.”

But Poland’s LGBT+ community are not easily convinced, and many have said he is only raising the issue to swing moderate voters ahead of this year’s presidential election.

Polish charity Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH) told Notes From Poland: “For us, deeds count, not words

“It is therefore worth recalling that the president is entitled to [make] legislative initiatives. Has Andrzej Duda exercised his right and submitted a bill on partnerships? No… Mr President, we do not believe you!”

The group also issued a reminder that in 2015, Duda vetoed a bill for gender recognition and shattered the hopes of trans people in Poland.

The bill would have allowed any Polish citizen to legally change their gender with two expert opinions

KPH added: “LGBT people will not vote for you.”

Duda’s comment that he would “seriously consider” legalising same-sex civil partnerships comes just over year after he said he would “seriously” consider a law banning LGBT+ “propaganda” in schools. 

In 2018, the president said: “I think that this kind of propaganda should not take place in schools, it has to be calmly and consistently opposed.”