British ambassador wears defiant rainbow face mask in Poland, where a third of the country has been declared ‘LGBT-free’

British ambassadors and embassy workers in Poland donned Pride flag-patterned face masks and lanyards on Sunday (May 17) in a small but defiant gesture against the country’s rising opposition against the LGBT+ community.

Seemingly in perfect parallel to one another, the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS)– whose poisonous anti-LGBT+ policies where a plank of its election campaign last year – were voted into power as one-third of Poland self-declared as “LGBT-free zones”.

PiS lawmakers dubbed queer folk a “threat” all the while urine, rocks and firecrackers were lobbed at Pride-goers in 2019.

To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), team staff at the British Embassy in Warsaw wore LGBT+ Pride-themed protective masks to celebrate, a news piece from the British government stated.

British Ambassador to Poland: ‘We must not forget to continue protecting the values in which we believe.’

“While right now we all need to focus on fighting COVID-19, we must not forget to continue protecting the values in which we believe,” British Ambassador to Poland, Jonathan Knott, said in a statement.

LGBT free zone stickers

“LGBT-free zone” stickers distributed by a Polish conservative newspaper, Gazeta Polska. (GPtygodnik/ Twitter)

“On International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, we reaffirm our support for efforts to raise public awareness of issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, and pay tribute to the hard work of LGBTI people in Poland, the UK and around the world to ensure human rights and dignity for all.

“We continue to be committed to protecting all people from violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and ensuring that every individual enjoys equal opportunities.”

A third of Poland have pledged to stop supporting LGBT+ people. 

Alarmed activists across the world watched as a cascading wave of Polish municipalities signed pledges to adopt resolutions against “LGBT+ propaganda”.

Poland LGBT free zone Fermoy Cork

The red area shows the municipalities in Poland that have signed the ‘LGBT-free’ pledge. (Atlas of Hate)

Nearly 100 Polish municipal or local governments have now proclaimed themselves to be “free from LGBTI ideology”. Local authorities in these areas pledge to refrain from acts that encourage tolerance and must avoid providing financial assistance to NGOs working to promote equal rights.

An “Atlas of Hate” map created by activists reveals the extent of Poland that has signed up to this pledge – and it covers an area greater than the size of Hungary.

The area has continued to grow after the European Parliament passed a resolution that strongly condemned the concept of LGBT-free zones in December 2019.