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Yet another of Poland’s abhorrent and unlawful ‘LGBT-free’ zones has been annulled by the courts

Emma Powys Maurice July 16, 2020
Poland

'Resolution revoked!' A court has annulled the 'LGBT-free' pledge made by the town of Klwów in Poland (Facebook/Bart Staszewski)

A second so-called ‘LGBT-free’ zone in Poland has been annulled as the courts begin a crackdown on institutionalised homophobia.

The ‘LGBT-free’ zone of Klwów in east-central Poland was declared to be unconstitutional on Wednesday (15 July), with the court ruling that the town council had exceeded its legal powers in establishing it.

The council had signed a pledge adopting resolutions against “LGBT+ propaganda”, vowing to refrain from acts of tolerance towards the queer community on the basis of protecting “Polish tradition” – but the court flatly rejected this reasoning.

“Very good, but in the Polish tradition there is also a tradition of tolerance,” Polish News reports the judge saying.

“The measure of the maturity of a given self-government is how we treat our minorities, because the majority always manages and the attitude towards the minorities is a measure of our assessment.”

The judge declared that “treating a certain group of people in this way, indicating them here as undesirable, is a violation of the rule of law”, adding that it was a clear violation of rights and discrimination of a certain group due to sexual preferences.

Article 32 of Poland’s constitution stipulates that “all persons shall be equal before the law” and “have the right to equal treatment by public authorities”, and that “no one shall be discriminated against in political, social or economic life for any reason whatsoever”.

The judgement followed another ruling on Tuesday (14 July) against the municipality of Istebna in south western Poland, which had attempted to create a similar discriminatory zone.

Istebna’s town council attempted to argue that the ‘LGBT-free’ zone referred to an ideology, not people, but the judge rebuffed this saying they were “turning a bling eye to reality”.

These are the first such rulings in Poland and are likely to have huge implications for the 100 or so ‘LGBT-free’ regions, which currently control around a third of the country.

Pride in London urges government to speak out against 'LGBT-free' Poland
The red area shows the municipalities in Poland that have signed the ‘LGBT-free’ pledge. (Atlas of Hate)

The verdicts aren’t final as a complaint can be filed within the next 30 days, but LGBT+ advocates are celebrating the result in hopes it will be repeated.

“It is a precedent, which will definitely go down in the history of the fight for human rights in Poland,” Anna Błaszczak-Banasiak, a lawyer from Bodnar’s office, told Polsat News after the judgement in Istebna.

“The justification of the court was crushing. It not only shared all substantive arguments of the commissioner recognising that these resolutions violate the constitutional rights and freedoms of the LGBT+ community, but [also] pointed out that they were harmful and discriminatory.”

 

 

More: Europe, Homophobia, Istebna, Klwów, LGBT-free zones, Poland

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