In this article, Anna Gwiazda explains how Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the Law and Justice (PiS) party, is using LBTQ+ people in general, and transgender people in particular, to create divisions from which to gain politically. She explains how Kaczyński is following the steps of another populist radical right leader such as Orbán, who demonized sexual and gender minorities in Hungary to mobilize his voters and divide the opposition.
Under the conservative flag of ‘nation, family, tradition’, and using a populist discourse to portray the LGBTQ+ community as an internal enemy, it is possible to propose and implement abortion bans, fight feminism or the so-called ‘gender ideology’ (just another name for anything that does not fit the conservative, traditional, and Catholic idea of family and gender roles).
Showing what rising illiberalism and democratic backsliding can do to women and LGBTQ+ people, Anna Gwiazda presents her work on these topics and confronts us with a dramatic situation but also suggests that this is not necessarily good news for PiS on the long run. Will the Polish citizens follow the party or prefer different, less conservative options at the 2023 elections? Will PiS find itself isolated on its own side of the cultural divide that it decided to erect?
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