Ursula von der Leyen says Poland’s ‘LGBT-free zones’ have no place in EU

In her first ‘state of union’ speech, European commission president delivers criticism of Polish ruling party.

The head of the European commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has said Poland’s “LGBT free zones” are “humanity-free zones” that have no place in the European Union in her strongest criticism yet of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party.

In a wide-ranging 77-minute speech spanning from coronavirus to the climate emergency, Von der Leyen pledged to build “a union of equality” and criticised European member states that watered down EU foreign policy messages on human rights.

She made plain her disapproval of Poland’s rightwing nationalist government, which has often hit out at “LGBT ideology”, while a number of Polish towns declared themselves “LGBT-ideology free zones”.