President Andrzej Duda vowed on Wednesday to ban teaching about LGBT issues in Poland’s schools in an apparent pitch to his conservative base during an increasingly tight race for the June 28 presidential election.
Duda is an ally of the ruling right-wing nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS), which brands LGBT+ “ideology” as an invasive foreign influence undermining traditional values in the staunchly Catholic nation.
His main opponent is liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski of the main centre-right opposition Civic Platform (PO) party. Trzaskowski has drawn criticism from religious conservatives for introducing education about LGBT+ matters in Warsaw schools.
“Parents are responsible for the sexual education of their children,” Duda told a gathering of supporters. “It is not possible for any institutions to interfere in the way parents raise their children.”
Signing a “Family Card” of proposals including pledges to preserve special benefit schemes for families and pensioners, he also said he would not allow gay couples to marry or adopt children. “It’s a foreign ideology. There is no consent for this phenomenon to happen in our country in any way.”
Trzaskowski has said he is in favour of civil partnerships for gays but, according to PO, he would not approve adoptions.