The city council in Nieuwegein, a municipality in the Dutch province of Utrecht, voted 26-1 to “unfriend” and cut off contact with Puławy in Lublin province, southeastern Poland, The Guardian reported.
Alderman Marieke Schouten celebrated the ruling by covering the Polish town’s name on Nieuwegein’s entrance signs with a rainbow LGBTQ pride flag, according to the Evening Standard.
“This is a statement. Gay-free zones are not done. Everybody is welcome in our town,” she told RTV. “It doesn’t matter who you are, what color skin you have, what you believe in or what your sexual orientation is. If you have a friendship with a town where that’s not allowed, we have good reason to say we are concerned about what’s happening over there.”
Polish President Andrzej Duda, who narrowly won a second five-year term last week, has drawn criticism from the European Union for denouncing gay rights and the LGBTQ movement as a “foreign ideology” worse than communism throughout his campaign.
About 100 municipal and local governments in Poland have declared themselves “gay-free zones” as part of the right-wing ruling party Law and Justice’s efforts to preserve conservative family values, according to The Guardian. The party advocates against gay marriage and allowing children to be adopted by LGBTQ couples.
LGBTQ activists have drawn a map called the “Atlas of Hate,” which shows “an area larger than the size of Hungary” has declared themselves as gay free zones in Poland.