Jun 10 2018

Turkey among signatories of open letter for LGBT rights in Poland

52 foreign ambassadors to Poland signed an open letter of support for LGBT rights in the country, including the ambassadors of the United States, Canada, Britain and Turkey, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday. 

Poland is Europe’s second most homophobic nation, according to a ranking of 28 European countries by the International Lesbian, Gay, Trans and Intersex Association.

During the gay pride in Warsaw on Saturday, participants vowed to keep pushing for the eventual freedom to marry the person of their choice. Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia are the EU countries that don't legally recognise same-sex couples.

The first LGBT pride march was organised in 2003 in Turkey, but have been banned since 2015 due to ‘public sensitivities’. Homosexual or transexual relationships are not considered to be crimes in Turkey, but same-sex marriages are not recognised. 

The state of emergency declared by the Turkish government after the coup attempt in July 2016 have also affected LGBT organisations. In November 2017, the Ankara governor used powers under the state of emergency to impose an indefinite ban on all public events by LGBT+ organisations in the city, citing “public safety”, “safeguarding general health and morals” and “safeguarding the rights and freedoms of others”. A string of bans on LGBT-related events followed in other parts of the country, shutting down plans for film screenings, exhibitions, forums, panel discussions, and public meetings.