Recently, people in Poland re-elected their President Andrzej Duda despite his reputation as a far-right politician. Of the many controversial stances that President Duda has, his criticism of what he called 'LGBT ideology' was, possibly, the most discussed. Now, the Polish government looks even more anti-LGBT with the appointment of a foreign minister with more radical views on the subject.
Zbigniew Rau doesn't just regard advocacy of LGBT rights as against the traditional values of his country but goes one step further to accuse those who are part of pro-LGBT campaigns as supporters of pedophilia, bestiality, and even cannibalism. Rau let these ideas of his be known last year during the parliamentary election campaign when he was a candidate.
Now, at a time when the European community and the western world, in general, is aggressively campaigning for ideas like same-sex marriage, this appointment might create some tension between Poland and other countries. Rau claims that his party "is the last barrier that protects us and our families from the chaos that the left wants to treat us." This would put him in ideological opposition to many governments of the West.
While such views may be controversial in the larger diplomatic arena of western civilization, it seems to be acceptable to a large number of Polish people. In the recent Presidential election, President Duda was able to defeat his rival who campaigned on a platform that included more liberal social ideas.
Rightward shift in Poland
The Law and Justice party to which the current government belongs has always presented itself as a defender of traditional Christian values. The election of Duda and the success of his political party is seen as another example of the rightward shift being witnessed around the world in terms of political ideology.
Duda has even received the indirect endorsement from US President Donald Trump. The latter made a high-profile and widely-discussed visit to Poland early in his tenure and his speech there received great applause in conservative circles around the world. President Duda was also the first foreign head of state to visit the White House after the long interval in diplomatic visits to the USA this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The combination of Duda and Rau will also have to deal with the European Union on the issue of LGBT rights. The relations between Poland and the continental body have been strained and if the EU tries to put pressure on Poland to change its stance on the issue of sexual minorities, it could lead to more tension.