Poland’s police commander-in-chief has been asked to explain why a new textbook for police officers lists LGBT+ people under “social pathologies”.
The textbook, Social Pathologies – Selected Issues, was recently published by a police training centre in Legionowo. It describes the LGBT+ community as a form of “social pathology” alongside drug addiction and begging, highlighting trans and non-binary people as particular examples.
The shocking text was raised in the Sejm on Friday (5 May) by Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, MP for the left-wing Lewica party.
“I would like to emphasise that the LGBTQ community is not an ideology, nor is it a pathology – these are people. These are people who are being exposed to harm, violence and discrimination,” she said as she confronted police chief Jarosław Szymczykat.
The MP declared it is “unacceptable” that police who are “are obliged to protect all citizens… irrespective of who they are, discriminate against these people”.
She called on Szymczykat and the commander of the training centre to explain exactly how the manual was developed and how it was ever cleared for use.
“These [institutions] today are responsible for what will happen on the streets of Polish cities and towns, when non-heteronormative persons will be subject to police intervention.”
Lewica leader Krzysztof Gawkowski added to the criticism, highlighting that transgender identities are not a disease – “and policemen who intervene should not only know it, but also have it encoded in the DNA of their service”.
“Each officer should undergo anti-discrimination training, on which hate speech and pathologies will be indicated, and the attitudes of policemen focused on taking the side of the weaker, excluded and offended,” he continued.
“This textbook is the antithesis of such training, because it arouses hatred, not restricts it.”