Poland is one of the most pro-family and Catholic countries in the world. However, in recent years leftist ideologues have begun coercing local Polish governments, including that of the capital city of Warsaw, to adopt resolutions promoting the radical LGBT agenda. In response to this, over 100 local Polish governments (covering one-third of Polish territory) have adopted resolutions and/or charters that attempt to protect families, marriages, and parenthood from the aggression of LGBT activists in the public domain and educational system. And because these local governments have dared to thwart the radical LGBT juggernaut, the leftwing European Union has declared war on Poland.
While different Polish localities have adopted different pro-family resolutions and charters, many (about a third) have adopted the charter drafted by a coalition of Polish and European pro-family groups spearheaded by Ordo Iuris, a leading Polish and European pro-family and human rights organization. The coalition states why a pro-family charter is needed:
“In recent years, the bodies of selected local government units have begun to take action, in the most extreme form being a political declaration, which may result in the actual privileging of certain groups [including LGBT ones] according to ideology…[These actions] have a significant impact on shaping social norms and the upbringing of future generations. [Our draft] charter is a moral response to the emergence of such acts. The purpose of the adoption of the [charter] by a given local government community is to show that – contrary to the ideological declarations of some local governments – the constitutional identity of marriage and the autonomy of the family still enjoy not only legal sanction, but also social respect….”
The coalition then lays out the solid constitutional foundation for a pro-family charter:
“Art. 18 of the [Polish] Constitution requires public authorities to provide special protection and care for marriage, being a union of a man and a woman, as well as the family, motherhood and parenthood. The basic law [constitution] also imposes on public authorities the obligation to be guided by the good of family in their social and economic policy. The principle of subsidiarity regarding family is also specified in Art. 47 of the Constitution, guaranteeing legal protection of family life, and Art. 48(1), which confirms the right of parents to rear their children in accordance with their own convictions. Art. 72(1) of the Constitution sets out the constitutional principle of care for children and confirms that anyone can request public authorities to protect a child against demoralization.”
The pro-family charter drafted by the Ordo Iuris coalition promotes five key goals: 1) supporting the rights of parents and the best interest of the child at school and preschool; 2) promoting family rights in local government social policy; 3) adapting social services to the needs of families; 4) encouraging governments to give public recognition to pro-family businesses; and 5) enacting family-friendly laws.
In regard to the first goal concerning the role of public school education, the charter states that “the task of educational institutions is to support the educational role of families without violating the constitutional rights of parents…The role of the education system is not to replace family upbringing. Unfortunately, in practice, even the statutory rights of parents are often ignored in the course of school and preschool education.” In order to prevent the indoctrination of their children in the LGBT agenda at school, the charter declares that “parents should be allowed to verify any external organizations operating on the premises of the school and any materials they use during non-compulsory classes…A similar mechanism should be applied to any other teaching and educational activities pursued by schools or institutions that go beyond the curriculum or that involve issues covered by the curriculum of Family Life Education.”
Regarding the second and third goals of promoting family rights in social policy and programs, the charter states:
“Programs of partnerships with community organizations should respect the principle of strengthening the family and marriage and rule out the funding of any projects harmful to these values. It is especially crucial to exclude any chance of allocating public funds and public property for projects that undermine the constitutional identity of marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman or the autonomy of the family.”
“Local government should also attempt to optimally adapt social services to the needs of families and, where possible, provide solutions to make them available to families with children. Sports and leisure infrastructure should offer possibilities for families to spend time together. It is also important to promote the significance of family, marriage and parenthood within the activity of the local government’s cultural institutions”
Among other things, the charter calls for ending social programs that discriminate against families, such as welfare programs open only to single-parent households.
In regard to the fourth goal of publicly recognizing pro-family businesses, the charter provides:
“Good practices regarding the rights of families should also be promoted in the business sector. Local government should support certification programs addressed to businesses that have adopted family-friendly solutions. This may be a program for certifying solutions addressed to consumers, such as discounts for families or amenities for families with children, or a program of good practices regarding the situation of employees who are parents.”
Finally, regarding the fifth goal of enacting family-friendly laws, the charter states that “the enactment of every local law should be preceded by determination of whether it will affect the situation of families and the scope of their rights, including the rights of parents and children….”
Two things must be noted about the Ordo Iuris charter and the other pro-family resolutions and charters adopted by Polish governments. First and foremost, they are about strengthening the traditional family, the dominant social form in society. Second, they are not against any people; rather, they oppose the radical aggression of belligerent LGBT activists. Indeed, the Ordo Iuris charter does not even mention sexuality at all. As the coalition states, its charter:
“does not exclude or discriminate against any group of residents. Protection and care over marriage as a union of a woman and a man, family, motherhood and parenthood, as well as taking into account the good of the family in social and economic policy, constitute the implementation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. These norms support the basic social unit, therefore they are beneficial for the whole society, regardless of the possible affiliation of individual citizens to groups of a different type.”
These two facts, however, have not stopped radical leftist ideologues from mischaracterizing municipalities that adopt pro-family resolutions and charters as “LGBT-Free Zones,” wrongfully implying that lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals are not welcome in such areas. Radical activists have even placed “LGBT-Free Zone” signs on roads leading to municipalities that have adopted pro-family policies.
Significantly, because local governments in Poland have adopted these pro-family resolutions and charters, and thus have attempted to thwart the radical anti-family agenda, Poland has been in the crosshairs of the leftist-dominated European Union. The response of the EU to these pro-family actions has been fast and furious. First, the EU has disqualified grant applications from Polish municipalities that have adopted these policies. Second, In March of this year the European Parliament declared the EU an “LGBTIQ Freedom Zone” to express its disapproval of the pro-family policies of the local Polish governments. Third, in July the EU sued Poland because it alleges that the pro-family policies of its municipalities may violate the human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals. Fourth, in July and September the EU sent letters to the five Polish regional governments that have adopted pro-family policies threatening to withhold billions in funding from them if they do not rescind such policies. Under such pressure, four of the five regional government have modified their prior resolutions by removing LGBT references while still expressing support for the family as the backbone of society. As one regional official said: “Neither I nor any councilor on the right or the left was ready to take responsibility for leaving [our region] without these EU funds.” No doubt the EU will keep the pressure on Poland as long as these pro-family policies remain in effect in other local governments.
Once again Poland is a leader in the fight to protect our families and stop the spread of a Marxist and neo-Marxist agenda designed to destroy them. And once again, the left-wing European Union is using all its weight to try to thwart the Polish efforts. Let us hope that Poland remains strong in this battle and gives encouragement to other governments to take a stand against this radical agenda.