Fermoy to terminate twinning arrangement with 'LGBT-Free Zone' town in Poland

Fermoy in Cork is to suspend or terminate its twinning arrangement with a town in Poland that has declared itself an "LGBT-Free Zone".

Fermoy to terminate twinning arrangement with 'LGBT-Free Zone' town in Poland

Fermoy in Cork is to suspend or terminate its twinning arrangement with a town in Poland that has declared itself an "LGBT-Free Zone".

Nowa Deba is one of around 100 Polish municipalities that have adopted resolutions against "LGBT ideology" and "propaganda".

Activists in Poland have now created an "Atlas of Hate" showing that around one-third of the country is now essentially an "LGBT-Free Zone" — an area the size of Hungary.

However, the town of Fermoy is taking a stand against the move and is seeking to break its ties with Nowa Deba as a result.

Cllr Noel McCarthy, who is a member of the Fermoy Twinning Committee is set to raise the issue Cork County Council in order to start the process of suspending or severing ties with the Polish town: "They are discriminating against the LGBT community. So, what we are saying in Fermoy, and I want to compliment the Twinning Committee...for taking this stance. Here in Ireland, we recognise gay marriage and we don’t discriminate against any of the LGBT community or any other communities for that matter."

"We are taking a stance and a town in France have done the same who are twinned with Nowa Deba and have also severed ties with them," he told Patricia Messinger on C103’s Cork Today Show.

Cllr McCarthy said the final decision on the matter rests with Cork County Council but emphasised that it is important to stand up against discrimination:

"We must stand up to people like this. You can not do this in 2020 and be seen to be able to get away with it. I want to compliment the Twinning Committee for taking this stance and asking us as councillors with my colleagues that we will take the next step by terminating or suspending our links with Nowa Deba."

Poland is one of just six European countries that has not yet legalised gay marriage. The European Union has already condemned the creation of "LGBT Free Zones".

Last year, a study by the University of Warsaw found that two-thirds of LGBT people in the country have experienced psychological or physical violence. A total of 70% of LGBT teenagers in Poland confessed to having had suicidal thoughts.

This year, people taking part in equality parade in the city of Bialystok were attacked by far-right protestors. The attack occurred after the equality parade was publicly denounced by the local Catholic archbishop.

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