An LGBT light show isn't enough: Polish activists

Cities in Poland lit up buildings in rainbow colors Monday (November 16) night, in a gesture of solidarity with the LGBT+ community.

It's also a gesture of defiance. LGBT rights have been a major flashpoint in the country over the last two years.

Where, politicians tied to the ruling nationalist Law and Justice party - and senior members of the Catholic Church - have argued against what they term "LGBT ideology".

So last week several city mayors pledged to illuminate buildings to mark the International Day for Tolerance.

Although some activists are calling for more substantial support in the face of rising hostility.

Hubert Sobecki is with an NGO called 'Love does not Exclude'.

"This is obviously a symbolic gesture. We welcome it when it comes from mayors of smaller cities and smaller towns, especially those who in the past have used a very conservative and homophobic narratives. // We've already had two years of the state propaganda machine working 24/7 in order to create this internal enemy called LGBT+ ideology. We've never been targeted, we've never been scapegoated so intensely, as a community, as a minority group."

Poland doesn't recognise any form of same-sex marriage.

And there have even been calls for Pride parades to be banned.

Though the capital's mayor did sign an 'LGBT+ Charter' pledging to introduce education about LGBT rights in Warsaw schools two years ago...

Sobecki says there had been "absolutely no action" from the capital's municipal government.

Filmmaker Bartosz Staszewski agrees that the light show isn't enough - and says tangible change is needed.

"In 2019, we paid homage to a trans activist who jumped off one of these bridges in Warsaw, and unfortunately, I have such terribly bad associations when now the same bridges will simply be rainbow-lit and nothing more will happen in Warsaw, no more anti-discrimination measures, just these rainbow bridges will serve the next kid to kill themselves. This is not how it should look."