Law

Polish court rules barbaric ‘LGBT-free zones’ must be abolished

Amelia Hansford June 29, 2022
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An activist carries a placard saying 'God Is Gay' during Katowice Pride Parade in Poland. (NurPhoto via Getty/ Artur Widak)

One of Poland’s top courts has ruled that monstrous “LGBT-free zones” in the country must be scrapped in four municipalities in a stunning victory for LGBTQ+ rights.

The ruling, which was passed on Tuesday (28 June), orders various local authorities that declared themselves free of “LGBT ideology” in 2019 to reverse their position.

Since their declaration, the European Commission has had its eyes on Poland, saying that the zones may violate European Union law regarding discriminatory legislation on the grounds of sexual orientation.

A legal challenge from the Polish Human Rights Ombudsman initially prompted a ruling that nine reviled “LGBT-free zones” must come to an end – until right-wing think-tank Ordo luris successfully appealed against five of them.

In a social media post, the group Poland’s Campaign Against Homophobia wrote: “Today’s decision… is a great victory for democracy, human rights and respect for people.”

Removing Poland’s self-proclaimed “LGBT-free zones” has been a long process for pro-LGBTQ+ activists, with two being scrapped in early May for a “gross violation of the law”. Several were scrapped only due to the threat of losing EU funding.

The initial resolution in April 2019 declared that LGBTQ+ rights aim to “annihilate” the “values shaped by the Catholic Church” and vowed to fight against so-called “homo-propaganda.”

Several other districts in Poland followed suit, with Ryki County in Lublin passing their resolution in an attempt to “protect children, young people, families and Polish schools”.

Warsaw And Kiev In Joint Equality Parade 2022, Poland
Equality Parade 2022 in Warsaw, Poland (Photo by Piotr Lapinski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The country’s capital recently celebrated Pride with Ukraine’s KyivPride in a single parade on Saturday (25 June). More than 300 members of the Ukrainian LGBTQ+ rights group joined the parade after being unable to gather in their own country due to the Russian invasion.

LGBTQ+ activists in the region have been a major help for Ukrainian refugees looking to escape the invasion. The country’s efforts has won praise from both the United Nations and from Pope Francis.

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