Black Eyed Peas fight over rainbow armbands in Poland.

Polish TV's New Year's Eve special featured US band Black Eyed Peas wearing rainbow armbands, demonstrating their support for LGBT rights.

The public broadcaster’s live New Year’s Eve of Dreams program, which was broadcast in the Zakopane ski resort, attracted approximately 8.3 million viewers.

A minister called the “LGBT promotion” an embarrassment.

However, the main party in power chose not to get involved in the dispute.

Both the government led by Law and Justice (PiS) and President Andrzej Duda used anti-LGBT rhetoric to win votes ahead of elections in 2019 and 2020. Growing up LGBT in Poland can still be a traumatic experience.

Despite a decline in church attendance, Poland, one of Europe’s most Catholic nations, is not the only country in which this dispute involves respect for people’s sexual orientation. Money, Poland’s participation in the EU, and the future of the ruling right-wing coalition government are also topics of discussion.

Black Eyed Peas, the main act, entered the stage with rainbow armbands on. After Russia invaded Ukraine, the singer thanked Poles for their “open hearts and minds” in welcoming Ukrainian women and children into their homes.

The band’s song “Where Is the Love? ” was then dedicated by him. “to those who experience hate throughout the year,” mentioning the LGBTQ community, the Jewish community, and people of African descent.

On social media, there was a reaction to the armbands. TVP2 LGBT promotion Disgrace! On Twitter, Poland’s Deputy Justice Minister Marcin Warchol declared, “This isn’t New Year’s Eve of Dreams; it’s New Year’s Eve of Degeneracy.”

On Twitter, Mr. Warchol asked the singer why the band had played in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, two countries with much worse LGBTQ records, and accused the musicians of selling their beliefs for money. responded that rather than boycotting these nations, it was preferable to perform there to encourage tolerance. And the funds? “It’s called a career in music,” he responded.

“The Black Eyed Peas are our band. That is P-E-A-S, or the Black Eyed Peace, or P-E-A-C-E, since we are concerned with harmony, equality, and peace. After leaving the stage, the singer said, “We stand for unity, love, and tolerance,” referring to the PiS-led government, in an Instagram recording.

The band, who were said to have received $1 million for their performance, came in as a last-minute replacement for former Spice Girl Melanie C, who said she was leaving due to “issues that do not align with the communities I support.”

Law and Justice, the dominant coalition party in Poland’s government, has distanced itself from the criticism of the armband. On Monday, when asked about the dispute, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated that although he supported “the family,” he opposed restricting bands’ “artistic expression.”

Mr. Warchol is a member of United Poland, a junior coalition partner known for its opposition to LGBTQ rights and increased EU integration.

Zbigniew Ziobro, the leader of the party, is in a public row with the prime minister. He thinks that the prime minister is willing to sell Poland’s sovereignty to Brussels in exchange for unblocking €35.4 billion (£31 billion) in EU pandemic recovery funds for Poland.

Concerns that Mr. Ziobro’s judicial reforms have compromised the independence of Poland’s courts are the primary reason the European Commission has prevented the release of that money.

Prime Minister Morawiecki wants to make a deal that will let the money out. However, PiS will lose its parliamentary majority before the autumn elections if the small United Poland party doesn’t support it.

Mr. Ziobro will not relent. Even the minister of justice has wondered if the armband display is a concession to Brussels as part of a possible deal.

He wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, “Violence, the destruction of churches, spitting at children, and corrupting children… the LGBT flag is a symbol of intolerance and aggression.”

“United Poland fundamentally disagrees with Mateusz Morawiecki and PiS in this matter, and we will never agree to the artistic promotion of LGBT on Polish television,” the statement reads.