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Are there LGBT-free zones in Poland? Report

Published: 08.03.2020

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A group of pro-LGBT political activists has published an “Atlas of hate”, which includes a map of local governments which, according its authors, have proclaimed themselves “LGBT-free zones”. The points marked on the map depict the cities and regions which have adopted the Charter of the Rights of the Family – although the theme of sexual tendencies does not appear in any point of the Charter. First local governments offended by defamation have decided to take legal action against the authors of the material with the assistance of Ordo Iuris.

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CHARTER OF THE RIGHTS OF THE FAMILY

 

In the November of 2019 a group of activists has presented the “Atlas of hate”. It contains a map naming almost 100 polish local governments, among which some cities and regions which have adopted the Charter of the Rights of the Family can be found. One of the authors of the material, Jakub Gawron, has repeatedly described the areas marked in red in the “Atlas” as “LGBT-free zones”, claiming that these local governments have introduced regulations which discriminate against persons who experience homosexual tendencies.

 

The Charter of the Rights of the Family has been elaborated by Ordo Iuris experts in cooperation with over 20 polish social organizations. It is a declaration which aims to promote the constitutional principles of protection of the family, marriage, parenthood and motherhood (Article 18 of the Constitution), protection of family life (Article 47) and protection of children against demoralization (Article 72). Moreover, the Charter embraces particular protection of the right of the parents to raise their children according to their beliefs (Article 48 of the Constitution). Local governments declare to disclose information on social organizations which are active in local government schools and on their programs in the Public Information Bulletin. Based on the document, local governments also appoint the Ombudsman for Family Rights. In the poviat of Rawa, for example, a representative of the Association of Large Families 3+ has been elected for this position.

 

The Charter's signatories are organizations such as the Podhalan Association, the Mum and Dad Foundation, the Life and Family Center, CitizenGo, the She and He Institute, the Gift of Life Foundation, the Confederation of Women of the Republic of Poland, the Association “Parents Protect Children”, the Association of Pedagogues “Natan”, the Life and Family Foundation, the Association Large Families of Warsaw and Mazovia, the Association of Large Families Happy Home, the Ordo Caritatis Foundation, Family Friendly Club, Family Shield Project, March Fourth Movement, Association of Catholic Families of the Legnica Diocese and the Christian Social Congress.

 

"From the beginning, the role of the Charter has been to connect the idea of ​​supporting family, parents and children. For the Charter to be a platform functioning above divisions, its provisions are a direct implementation of the principles set out in the Polish Constitution. Let the effectiveness of this positive project be demonstrated by the fact that the Charter is adopted above political divisions, on the initiative of councilors of PiS, PSL or local committees, or even as a result of the citizens’ legislative initiative” sums up Paweł Kwaśniak, the national coordinator of the Charter of the Rights of the Family.

 

As Ordo Iuris lawyers pointed out during a press briefing, the defamatory publication is a deliberate and consciously manipulated attack on the reputation of local governments. Determining the actual content of the Charter did not pose any difficulties and allowed to state that it is not a document which would incite hatred or discrimination. As journalist Cezary Gmyz pointed out in his Twitter post: “there is no word about LGBT or gender or homosexuality in the Charter”. “By the way, it terrifies me how few of the journalists reached out for this text. Something touched me and I decided to check the content. It took me less than 5 seconds to find it, and not much longer to read it”, he added.

 

The presentation of the “Atlas of hate” in Brussels, as well as numerous speeches by both its author and leftist politicians supporting him, resulted in domestic and foreign publications citing false information about local governments branded in the atlas, depicting them as places of hatred and discrimination, or “LGBT-free zones”. The authors of the “Atlas of hate” allow further manipulation by juxtaposing resolutions on the adoption of the Charter of the Rights of the Family with positions taken by other local governments against the political demands of LGBT ideology.

 

In the opinion of the Ordo Iuris Institute, “Atlas of hate” violates the reputation of local government units that have decided to adopt resolutions which protect the constitutional rights of families. Some local governments have already decided to defend their reputation in court. On their behalf, the Institute's lawyers will demand Jakub Gawron to stop infringing personal rights, publish a statement with an apology during conferences at the Polish Press Agency and the European Parliament, as well as to pay social compensation.

 

“Defending the reputation of local government units is a necessary action, given the scale of distribution of false information about the content of the Charter of the Rights of the Family. Protection of personal rights of local governments follows not only from the Act, but is also confirmed in the current case law of common courts. The Supreme Court in its sentence from April 28th 2016 also has confirmed that the violation of the personal rights of the local government unit is undermining trust, which is necessary for the proper performance of local government’s tasks” – explained Maciej Kryczka, lawyer of the Ordo Iuris Institute.

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