Chief Rabbi in Poland Condemns "LGBT-free" Zones

In September 2020, in an interview with BBC’s Lucy Ash, Tomasz Sakiewicz, the editor of Gazeta Polska, a right-wing weekly magazine, said that he believes people should be allowed to have sex with whomever they chose to. Sakiewicz also noted that “aggressive ideology promoting homosexuality” is not suitable for Poland. More than half of the regions in Poland have established resolutions announcing that their community is “LGBTQ-Free.”

Since 2019, Municipalities all over Poland have endorsed policies that they label as “pro-family” and “against LGBT propaganda.”

A predominantly Catholic country, Poland is governed by a conservative, nationalistic government. Poland’s conservative politicians and the religious dominance of the Catholic church are putting the country at odds with the EU’s regulations for non-discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Speaking as part of the panel on August 20 in an episode of “Pride in the Living Room” by The Aguda, Rabbi Michael Schudrich stated that Poland’s LGBT-Free Zone is not conformist to the Jewish laws grounded in the Torah. Rabbi Schudrich said, “as far as I can tell, it is against Halacha,” referring to the municipalities in Poland that created the LGBT-Free Zone resolutions.

Rabbi Schudrich, a leader of the Polish Jewish community since 2004, has been actively promoting the ‘Jewish Renaissance'' in Poland. During his panel hosting, he promoted LGBTQ+ acceptance within the Jewish communities, saying that “ if someone tells them they are not welcome, that person is incorrect.” “Jewish unity is not about agreeing about everything; it’s about celebrating that we are all Jewish together,” he added.

Rabbi Schudrich is not alone in his sympathies. The Jewish communities in Poland have been actively campaigning against this growing homophobia in Poland. The community called out Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, for using anti-LGBT sentiments for his political agenda.

The Catholic church has been silent on the matter. A gay Polish couple has traveled to Rome to beg Francis to put a leash on his archbishops. In 2013, Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski called the LGBTQ community the “new red,” referring to them as the new communist. “Not red, but rainbow,” the Archbishop said. Although some Catholic priests are siding with the LGBTQ community, the Catholic church has not released an official statement.

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