Poland’s parliament has approved a law that will essentially ban teaching LGBTQ-inclusive topics in schools.

On the afternoon of 13 January, the educational reform was adopted into law after being debated in the Sejm (the lower house of Poland’s parliament) a day earlier.

Named ‘Lex Czarnek’ or ‘Czarnek’s Law’ after minister of education Przemysław Czarnek, its contents bring the country in line with Hungary and Russia who previously adopted similar anti-propaganda legislation.

It gives superintendents the power to overrule any teaching materials that are given to schools by outside groups, such as charities, as well as giving them the power to sack teachers who are not compliant with this.

Czarnek said this would include anything that is seen as “a threat to the morality of children” after previously saying gay people are “not equal to normal people”.

This also means that LGBTQ-inclusive sex education will be virtually non existent, with activisits in the region seeing it as a de-facto ban on LGBTQ+ topics altogether.

Rémy Bonny, executive director of pan-European advocacy group Forbidden Colours, called the law a way of “legally scapegoating the LGBTQ+ community”.

“After years of rhetorical campaigns against the LGBTIQ+ community, the Polish government has officially joined Russia and Hungary in legally scapegoating the LGBTIQ+ community as a way of dismantling democracy and human rights,” Bonny said. “Children are the next victim in Poland’s war on inclusion and democracy.”

The activist called on members of the European Union to take action to help the community in Poland.

“I call upon the EU member states to put as much as possible diplomatic pressure on the Polish government,” Bonny continued. “No child in the European Union should be bullied by its government.”