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Polish opposition shows rainbow LGBT solidarity at president's swearing-in

Polish opposition members of parliament on Thursday formed a rainbow with their outfits at President Andrzej Duda's swearing-in in solidarity with the LGBT community after he was accused of running a campaign laced with homophobic rhetoric.

Duda, an ally of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, argued ahead of the July vote that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people 'are not people, it's an ideology'.  

His words were condemned by the opposition and members of the international community.

The MPs, from Poland's 'Left' grouping, donned rainbow masks and brightly-coloured outfits in shades of the rainbow, sitting in rows, as Duda was sworn in, in the lower house of parliament, the Sejm.  

Poland's left-wing lawmakers dressed in rainbow colours to show support for the LGBT community outside the parliament building ahead of the swearing in ceremony of President Andrzej Duda for a second term, in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday

President Andrzej Duda attends the ceremony of taking over the sovereignty over the Polish Armed Forces on August 6, 2020 in Warsaw. The Polish President was sworn in for a second term in office

They also posed for photos in and outside parliament with rainbow and white and red Polish flags. 

'Andrzej Duda’s swearing-in ceremony. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your vote for The Left is a wasted vote. After all they’re the only ones who stand in solidarity with Polish LGBTQ+ people,' wrote one, while a second penned:

'Major love and respect to the Polish MP’s who co-ordinated their outfits to create a rainbow flag at the swearing in for their homophobic president Andrzej Duda.' 

Members of the Polish parliament pose for a picture holding LGBT flags and a Polish flag, on the day of a swearing-in ceremony of Andrzej Duda as Polish President in Warsaw

Polish opposition members of parliament, who donned rainbow-themed masks representing colours of the LGBT flag in support of the LGBT community in Poland, took a selfie in parliament during a swearing-in ceremony of Andrzej Duda as Polish President (pictured)

A third commented: 'Reasons to be hopeful. A group of Polish MPs coordinated their outfits in the design of the rainbow flag at the swearing in ceremony of the homophobic President Andrzej Duda.'

'The MPs were just metres away from Duda in the Chamber today. He’s described LGBT rights as an “ideology” and presided over Poland becoming the worst performing EU country on LGBT rights. That’s why this image matters so much and gives at least a little hope for LGBT Poles.'

Duda, who was elected in 2015, has also been widely criticised for lashing out at same-sex marriage and vowing to ban same-sex couples from adopting children. 

He won a second term last month after an acrimonious campaign laced with homophobic language and appeals to religious conservatives, raising fears of further discrimination among LGBT+ Poles. 

Many were quick to take to Twitter in praise of the MPs stand for solidarity (pictured)

'We wanted to remind President Andrzej Duda that ... in the constitution there is a guarantee of equality for all,' Left MP Anna Maria Zukowska said.

'We don't want a similar situation during his next term as there was during his campaign, when the president dehumanized LGBT people by denying them the right to be people.'

PiS has argued that LGBT rights are part of an invasive foreign ideology that undermines Polish values and the traditional family.

In his swearing-in speech, Duda reiterated his pledge to keep 'family as the foundation stone of society ... as our most precious good.' 

Some Polish towns have been told they will lose European Union funding after declaring themselves 'free of LGBT ideology'.

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