(WB) A measure that would give school administrators and superintendents the power to remove books, lessons, and ban student participation in events or clubs that are LGBT affirming passed the lower house of Poland’s parliament, known as the Sejm, on Jan. 13 in a 227-214 vote.
The measure, dubbed “Lex Czarnek,” or “Czarnek’s Law,” after Education Minister Przemysław Czarnek, who has been vehemently opposed to the LGBT rights and the country’s equality movement, now moves on to the upper house, the Senate where it faces opposition and likely will be rejected Polish broadcast media outlet RMF 24 reported.
According to RMF24, “The Sejm adopted the amendment to the Educational Law, prepared by the Ministry of Education and Science. The project is commonly known as ‘Lex Czarnek.’ The role of school superintendents will be strengthened, and the rules governing the functioning of non-governmental organizations in schools and educational institutions will be changed.”
Opposition to LGBT rights has an ally in the education minister whose role would determine the outcome of the implementation of the measure:
“Pursuant to the amendment, the headmaster of the school or facility will be required — no later than two months before the commencement of classes conducted by associations or organizations — to obtain detailed information about the action plan in the school, the outline of classes and materials used in the offered classes, as well as obtain a positive the opinion of the education superintendent for the activities of such an organization at school or in an institution. The curator has 30 days to issue an opinion.”
The law also contains a stipulation that “if the head of the school or educational institution fails to comply with the recommendations issued by the school superintendent, he will be able to summon him to explain why he did not do so. If the principal still does not follow the recommendations, the probation officer may apply to the governing body of the school or facility with a request to dismiss the principal during the school year, without notice.”
A member of the Sejm, Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, a progressive leftist politician who in addition to protesting against abortion laws, has also been active in protests for LGBT rights, tweeted her outrage; “The voice of the curator Nowak, as if it were not stupid and dangerous to health and life, is more important for PiS deputies than the voice of students, parents and teachers.”
The MP and Czarnek, the target of Dziemianowicz-Bąk’s anger, has staked out several public vitriolic anti-LGBT positions that have included an attack on the LGBT community in West Hollywood.
Speaking with a reporter on Serwis Info Poranek with the national state-run TVP Info (TVP3 Polska) last June, the newly appointed education minister said (translated from Polish):
“Let’s end the discussion about these LGBT abominations, homosexuality, bisexuality, parades of equality. Let us defend the family, because failure to defend the family leads to what you see.
As he spoke these words, he was holding a phone in his hand, on the display of which he showed a picture of several people.
“These are the Los Angeles guys in downtown last June. I was on a delegation there, I was passing through, there was a so-called gay pride parade there,” he added. “We are at an earlier stage, there are no such things with us yet, but such chaps shamelessly (sic.) Walk the streets of the western city of Los Angeles,” he added.
Serwis Info Poranek also noted that according to Czarnek, “Europe is also heading for this, Poland is heading for this … These people are not equal to normal people, let’s end this discussion.”
During the ongoing battles over the so-called LGBTQ “Free Zones” with the European Commission Czarnek weighed in comparing the LGBT community to the Nazis.
“There’s no doubt, that LGBT+ ideology grew out of … the same root as Germany’s Hitlerian National Socialism, which was responsible for all the evil of World War II,” Czarnek said as PinkNewsUK reported.
Observers think that the law will be rejected by the senate although under the Polish constitution there is still a possibility it could be signed off on by the anti-LGBT Polish President Andzej Duda.
PinkNewsUK reports that although it seems that Lex Czarnek is on track to becoming law, Rémy Bonny, executive director of pan-EU LGBT+ rights organization Forbidden Colours, insists that all is not lost.
With pressure from politicians both in the EU and around the world, Poland could be forced to backtrack.
He told PinkNewsUK that “in September, after threats by the European Commission to take away funding, four out five provinces that declared themselves ‘LGBT+ free zones’ withdrew their anti-LGBT+ resolutions … International pressure on Poland works.”