While Poland is among only six EU member states where same-sex couples are not allowed to marry or register a civil partnership, a recent report presented by the Love Does Not Exclude association has found that over a half of Polish men and women, including one in three conservative voters, share the view that same-sex couples should have the right to marry in order to ensure the wellbeing of their children.
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- The level of acceptance towards LGBTQ families among Poles is much greater than it seems- Hubert Sobecki of the Love Does Not Exclude (Miłość Nie Wyklucza) association said during the presentation of the report in the parliamentary hallway on Tuesday. - What we need is education, not scaremongering.

The venue for the presentation of the report entitled "We are a family. What do Polish men and women think about LGBT+ families" was not a coincidence. During the six years since the Law and Justice party came to power, the Polish parliament has not passed any legislation that would make the life of non-heteronormative individuals easier. And it is not for lack of available legislative projects, such as those introducing civil partnerships or expanding the catalog of hate crimes to include acts of violence committed against LGBTQ people.

On the other hand, thanks to the votes of the ruling right-wing coalition and the far-right Confederation, at the end of October, a bill prohibiting equality parades proposed by catholic fundamentalist activists was sent for further work in the parliamentary commissions. It was accompanied by a debate during which one of the proponents of the homophobic legislation equated "LGBT ideology" with totalitarianism and accused same-sex couples of "wanting to adopt children in order to molest and rape them".

More than half of Poles support same-sex marriage

But as the survey commissioned by the Love Does Not Exclude association shows, Poles do not necessarily believe in the narrative of right-wing fundamentalists. As many as 56% of respondents believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married to ensure the safety of their children (e.g. to avoid sending a child to foster care in a situation when one of the biological parents dies). 29% hold the opposite view, while 15% are undecided. Most supporters can be found among the electorate of the democratic opposition (The Left – 88%, Civic Coalition – 74%, Poland 2050 – 70%). Interestingly, 37% of voters supporting the ruling right-wing coalition and 33% of those voting for the far-right Confederation also declare themselves supportive.

65% of respondents agree that "a biological parent raising a child with a same-sex partner" fits the definition of a family. Slightly less – 59%- considers as such "two people of the same sex living in a relationship and raising an adopted child". 58% admit that a couple is a family even if it does not have any children.

Meanwhile, Poland is among only six EU member states where same-sex couples are not allowed to marry or register a civil partnership. – For years, the topic of same-sex couples' parenthood has been used as a scarecrow by right-wing politicians and the Catholic Church, who irresponsibly slander LGBTQ families that already live in Poland- Mr Sobecki points out.

The Minister of Justice/Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro, together with his former deputy Michal Wójcik, has recently announced a bill that would ban adoption by same-sex couples. He proclaimed "a thorough analysis of the personal situation of the candidate to adopt a child". Both politicians argued that the initiative was created out of concern for the "wellbeing of the child", which is supposed to be of "paramount importance".

Majority of Poles are accepting of LGBTQ families

Yet, while speaking about the need to protect children, politicians take advantage of existing social ignorance. In a recent CBOS survey, only 16% of respondents expressed their support for the adoption of children by same-sex couples.

- The issue of LGBTQ parenthood in Poland, most often phrased in the form of a question about the right to adoption, was never the topic of a proper discussion- notes Ola Kaczorek of the Love Does Not Exclude association. This is only confirmed by a study commissioned by the organization itself. When asked whether there are any single-sex couples raising children in Poland, 18% of respondents said no, while 28% admitted to not knowing anything about it.

- There are 50.000 children growing up in the so-called rainbow families in Poland today- said MP Hanna Gill-Piątek of Poland 2050. - This has been confirmed by research conducted by the Polish Academy of Sciences.

65% of respondents admit that if they were sure that children raised by same-sex couples develop equally well as their peers raised by heterosexual couples, they would have nothing against such families.

Moreover, 77% believe that children raised in LGBTQ families are exposed to mockery from others. 76% have no doubt that society should protect such children from harassment. This view is shared by as many as 70% of conservative voters.

- When LGBTQ parents cross the Polish border they do not suddenly become childless, and when a child raised by a same-sex couple crosses the Polish border it does not become an orphan. It is time to guarantee the rights of children and LGBTQ families throughout Europe, and throughout Poland- said MP Anna Maria Żukowska (the Left) - We want to be clear: Protect the children!

The quantitative survey was conducted on a representative sample of Polish men and women (n=1002) of working age (18-65), using the CAWI method at the turn of July and August 2021 by ABR Sesta on behalf of the Love Does Not Exclude (Miłość Nie Wyklucza) association.

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