LGBT Rights Are Flashpoint in Culture War Dividing Europe’s East and West

TUCHÓW, Poland—Last yr, this modest Polish town close to the jap edge of the European Union passed a resolution proclaiming alone a “municipality free of LGBT ideology.” Previous thirty day period, the EU responded by stripping funding for a application connecting Tuchów with a sister town in France.

For EU authorities, Tuchów had violated a basic correct not to be discriminated from primarily based on sexual orientation or gender, anything guarded in the bloc’s treaties and significant-court scenario legislation. Some locals right here, in a stronghold of Poland’s recently re-elected President Andrzej Duda, don’t see it that way.

“It is more critical for me and my colleagues, and maybe for citizens, to act as guardians of our values, alternatively than marketing ourselves for the 30 parts of silver,” stated Tuchów town councilor Mateusz Janiczek, a member of Poland’s conservative Regulation and Justice social gathering, which backs Mr. Duda.

LGBT legal rights have become a flashpoint in a society war between Europe’s West, which is becoming broadly more socially liberal, and its East, which hews to more conservative sights. The social schism threatens EU unity and collective motion at a time of political and financial pressure.

Politicians in international locations of the East that were powering the Iron Curtain in the course of the Cold War existing themselves as defending traditions and Christian values. For numerous in the West, that technique is at odds with basic tenets of Western liberal democracy.