LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

LGBTI activists create a Twitter storm for EU infringement procedures against Poland over so called ‘LGBT-free Zones’


ILGA-Europe launched an-hour long Twitter Storm demonstration on February 11, calling on the European Commission to take infringement procedures against Poland, making the Polish-based hashtag #infringementNOW trend.

An online action, created by Brussels-based ILGA-Europe in association with the Polish LGBTI rights organisation Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH), has been supported by many politicians, MEPs, diplomats, political party groups, NGOs and human rights defenders from all around the EU and the world.

Other words like #Polish and #Poland were also among the trending topics between 9 and 10 AM in Belgium, which coincided with the European Parliament’s plenary sessions. The hashtag #infringementNOW had more than 2,000 mentions in an hour-long Twitter demonstration.

The action was created to support to a 30-day long campaign by KPH, which has been calling on the EU to initiate an infringement procedure against Poland for violating EU directives with so-called ‘Family Charters’ and ‘LGBT Free Zones’, which over 100 Polish local governments have adopted over the last two years.

Last September, ILGA-Europe, together with KPH and Poland’s Fundacja Równości (The Equality Foundation), submitted a legal complaint to the European Commission about so-called ‘Family Charters’ and ‘LGBT Free Zones’. The complaint sets out how these declarations introduce discrimination against LGBTI people and thus breach the European Council Directive (2000/78/EC), establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights Article 15 on Freedom to choose an occupation and right to engage in work, and Article 21 on non-discrimination.

The campaign is not over!

Until the European Commission takes infringement procedures against Poland, let’s keep calling on it to take action. Tweet this message, and ask your followers and other stakeholders to tweet it also:

Time 4 #infringementnow against Poland 4 violating fundamental rights of EU citizens & disregarding EU treaties with so-called ‘LGBT-Free Zones’ & ‘Family Charters’. EC President @vonderleyen, what’s holding the @EU_Commission back from taking action? @helenadalli @VeraJourova

You can find an image to include with your tweet here. For inspiration, take a look at what happened during our Twitter-storm demonstration in our Medium blog.