It’s a powerful statement.
A Cork town has terminated its twinning arrangement with Nowa Deba in Poland after the town was declared an “LGBT-Free Zone”.
With a population of around 11,000, Nowa Dęba is one of more than 80 Polish local governments proclaiming themselves to be ‘‘free from LGBTI ideology’’ amidst rising homophobia across the country.
Although legal measures against discrimination are in place, the European Parliament says they are not sufficiently implemented, leaving LGBTI people in danger and vulnerable to hate crimes, hate speech and discrimination… not exactly attractions that will have tourists flocking to see what Nowa Deba is all about.
“We were absolutely shocked,”
Speaking to PJ Coogan on 96fm’s Opinion Line, Cllr Noel McCarthy from Fermoy said that all events between the two towns have been suspended.
Fermoy has been twinned with Nowa Deba since around 2006 and a group from the town has visited Cork at least twice during that time, with a Fermoy group paying a return visit on a number of occasions.
“We were absolutely shocked,” said Cllr McCarthy.
“It is discrimination against the LGBT community and we felt that we had to act on it.”
“They can’t discriminate like this and expect to get away with it.”
Cllr McCarthy has put in a motion for next week’s meeting to terminate the relationship with Nowa Deba. The concerns will be put to Nowa Deba in an official letter after the matter is discussed in the City Council meeting on March 18th.
Happily, Fermoy is also twinned with the French town of Ploemeur in Brittany, which has also decided to end its relationship with Nowa Deba due to its discriminatory view of LGBT people.