Wednesday 21 April 2021

Nieuwegein unfriends Polish twin town for creating ‘gay-free zone’

A rainbow flag flying against a cloudy blue sky

Photo: depositphotos

A Dutch town has ended its relationship with its Polish twin town for designating part of its municipality an ‘LHBT-free zone’.

Nieuwegein council voted almost unanimously to cut its last ties with Pulawy, in south-eastern Poland, on Monday evening. The two towns had had no official contact since 2015. One councillor voted to maintain the friendship on an informal basis.

Pulawy is one of several towns to introduce the anti-gay measures as part of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS)’s campaign to promote conservative family values.

Alderman Marieke Schouten marked the decision by covering the Polish town’s name on Nieuwegein’s entry signs with a rainbow flag.

‘This is a statement,’ she told RTV Utrecht. ‘Gay-free zones are not done. Everybody is welcome in our town. It doesn’t matter who you are, what colour skin you have, what you believe in or what your sexual orientation is.

‘If you have a friendship with a town where that’s not allowed, we have good reason to say we are concerned about what’s happening over there.’

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