Rising Anti-LGBTQ Sentiment Is Isolating Poland’s Small Towns

LGBTQ rights supporters protest in Warsaw, Poland, Aug. 8, 2020 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).
LGBTQ rights supporters protest in Warsaw, Poland, Aug. 8, 2020 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

A thousand miles separate the quaint French commune of Saint-Jean-de-Braye, in the central Loiret region, from the rural Polish town of Tuchow, east of Krakow. But for 20 years, they could have easily been next-door neighbors. Educational exchanges first brought the municipalities together in the mid-1990s, followed by the signing of a formal twin town agreement in 2000. The next two decades were filled with signs of their close relations: Local officials regularly traveled back and forth to see each other, while residents took sightseeing visits and pupils were offered apprenticeships. The small, tight-knit nature of the two communities—their combined […]

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