Open but without tolerance for all: We would rather help refugees than acknowledge that our child is LGBT.

On behalf of TATUUM and the Equaversity Foundation, the Pollster Research Institute conducted a study on attitudes towards refugees and the acceptance of LGBT people.

The study focused on attitudes of Poles towards two social groups – LGBT people and Ukrainian refugees. The research revealed who is welcome in Poland.

Most respondents (89%) agree that everyone, regardless of country, skin colour, or sexual orientation, should receive help if they need it. However, support for LGBT rights and the willingness to accept refugees regardless of the country is lower in society than the promise of “help for everyone.”

Not in front of the kids

Poles frequently hold homophobic views: 39% of respondents believe that LGBT is a threat to children, while 1/3 that it is simply a harmful ideology. Every fifth respondent (21%) supports the idea of creating LGBT-free zones. When questioned about their views towards LGBT people in their environment, respondents expressed less concern about LGBT individuals who work as shop salespeople (26% replied positively, 15% responded negatively), and their neighbours (26% vs 18%). Co-workers and radio or television journalists are also more likely to evoke positive than negative feelings.

People’s negative attitudes are more often caused by an LGBT person who works as a deputy, teacher, or babysitter. In addition, a non-heteronormative priest generates the most negative feelings (53% negative vs. 11% positive).

The fight over the rainbow

Equality Parades and protests in defence of sexual minorities’ rights have less support than protests in support of women’s rights (about 70% of respondents said they don’t mind protests in support of women). According to 35% of those polled, equality parades either slightly or definitely bother them. Similar findings apply to rainbow flags displayed in windows or balconies: 54% find them inconvenient, while 36% find them upsetting. The most controversial topic is the installation of rainbow flags on public buildings. Nearly half of those surveyed (43%) say it bothers them slightly or a lot.

Good kid vs Bad kid

65% of Poles stated they would accept an LGBT kid. One-third of those polled said it would be difficult for them. Every fifth person (21%) could not answer this question, 2% would reject their child in such a scenario, and almost one-tenth (9%) would be unable to accept it and attempt to change it. Women found it significantly easier to answer positively to the question.

Acceptance was the lowest in the group with primary or vocational education. Only one in four (26%) people would unconditionally accept an LGBT child, while the same number (26%) had no view on the matter.

At the same time, Poles demonstrate a strong willingness to help child refugees (82% from Ukraine, 76% from another nation). The groups that Poles are least likely to help are LGBT people (49% vs 42%) or young refugee men (48% vs 42%). Over half of Poles say they have helped or are currently helping Ukrainian war refugees. The most common types of help are in-kind donations (53%), food donations at stores (50%), and charity donations (49%). 3% of those polled admitted to hosting Ukrainian refugees in their homes.

It’s hard to support something you don’t understand.

We are a socially conscious country, with three out of every four Poles supporting charity organisations. We prefer organisations that help disabled people (34%) and homeless animals (30%), whereas Catholic charities with evangelistic objectives (10%) and LGBT support groups (7%) are less popular. In addition, 13% of Poles claim to participate in demonstrations or protests. They often have a higher level of education, are older (60+), and are from regions with 100,000 to 500,000 inhabitants.

It’s no wonder that LGBT organisations in Poland are underfunded, considering that more than half of Poles state they don’t know any LGBT person.

says Agnieszka Holland, Board Member of the Equaversity Foundation.


The research was carried out in Poland in May 2022.

Sign up to receive the news from the battlefield!

By subscribing to our newsletter you are agreeing to our privacy policy.