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US Embassy in Warsaw Publishes Video Condemning LGBT Hate

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Crowd with LGBT rainbow flags in Warsaw
Thousands took part in the Equality Parade in the capital earlier this month

The US embassy in Warsaw has published a video pushing back against anti-LGBT messages posted on its social accounts.

The clip, titled #WordsMatter, shows members of the Polish LGBT community reading hateful comments left on posts about equality.

The video comes at the end of pride month against a backdrop of rising discrimination in the country.

Poland’s right-wing president Andrzej Duda ran for election last year on a platform condemning LGBT “ideology”.

A swathe of towns and regions across the country have passed resolutions declaring themselves “LGBT-free zones” in recent years.

While the resolutions are largely symbolic – they reflect deepening hostility faced by LGBT people nationally and have sparked international condemnation.

In the three-minute video posted on Wednesday, US Charge d’Affaires Bix Aliu says the US embassy aimed to highlight the hurtful impact of negative comments left under their posts in support of LGBT equality.

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“Imagine someone says these words about you, your brother or sister, or your child. How would that make you feel?” he asks in Polish, before several people are seen reading out hateful messages.

In them commenters accuse the LGBT community of being “brainwashed”, among other explicit statements.

“It’s time to end the hate – we all deserve respect and humane treatment,” Mr Aliu added in a tweet about the video.

The initiative was supported by Stonewall in Poland, who campaign for equal rights.

Earlier this year the European Union passed a resolution declaring itself an “LGBTIQ freedom zone” in response to rising discrimination in Poland.

Same-sex relationships are not legally recognised in Poland and earlier this year government officials announced changes to clamp down on gay people adopting as single parents.

Reports by the Reuters news agency on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources, suggest the European Commission may be considering taking legal action against Poland over the “LGBT-free zones”.

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