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The central European country of Poland is making headlines today as they claim themselves “free of LGBT ideology.”

Since March, 30 different towns, villages, and regional assemblies have had leaders claim their communities as being LGBTQ ideology-free in the predominantly Catholic country.

This brings to question, are these communities without LGBTQ folks altogether, or are they simply silencing and closeting those who would otherwise claim their queerness?

The country, whose population in entirety is less than 39 million people, has been leading with an agenda of LGBTQ erasure since the beginning of 2019. OUT FRONT reported in May that the religious and political leaders were aiming for a goal of becoming “LGBT free,” and  the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party urged that the promotion of queer rights and the implementation of sex-ed in schools were dangerous to youth and undermine traditional values.

Ikea recently became the focus of a Polish smear campaign as the Swedish company fired an employee for refusing to take down a homophobic post on social media. The furniture retailer is now under an official investigation ordered by Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister, who suggested Ikea may have broken the law by discriminating against Catholics, reported the Financial Times.

While these anti-LGBTQ ideals are being propagandized, the streets of Warsaw welcomed tens of thousands of people to the annual Gay Pride parade just last month, and the country of Poland is expecting around 20 different parades to occur before the end of the year, reported the New York Times.

Clearly, while fascist portions of the the governmental and religious leadership claim a lack of queer presence in their communities, the facts are telling a very different story. The national divide in the starkly diverse country leads us to question not only the validity of such claims, but truly the fate and safety of those who live in Poland.