ILGA Europe, an organisation which includes LGBT activists from many countries, has published a report called “Rainbow Europe,” in which it accuses Poland of violating human rights. The publication’s authors make several incorrect claims, including those regarding certain Polish local governments declaring their territories “LGBT-free zones.” They also suggest that it is the Church and the authorities that are responsible for the alleged acts of violence against homosexual people. Presenting the ideologically motivated claims of the LGBT movement as “human rights” and considering the situation of its members solely on this basis seems especially questionable in this regard. The Ordo Iuris Institute has prepared a response to the report published by ILGA Europe.
ILGA’s publication is based on an incorrectly formulated structure of human rights, which has no legal grounding in any international treaties or other documents adopted jointly by the European states. The methodology used in the report is based on these erroneous assumptions as well. According to the authors, the implementation (or lack thereof) of the LGBT movement’s demands is supposed to reflect the “social climate” for people who identify with the LGBT movement in a given country. Moreover, the entire narrative of the report is tied to the controversial claims of gender ideology, primarily the concept of “gender identity.” According to the authors, gender is merely a social construct, which emerged as a result of the “age-old gender war.” A simple consequence of this assumption is the belief that someone’s gender depends only on their subjective feelings.
The report presents examples of alleged discrimination against people who lead a homosexual lifestyle in Poland in an untruthful manner. These include the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal, which deemed that punishing a print shop owner from Łódź who refused to prepare a poster for an LGBT organisation was unlawful. The man’s decision to refuse service was not caused by the clients’ sexual preferences (which he may not have even known), but rather the content of the poster itself.
The report also presents the activities of the Polish local governments in a manipulative manner. According to ILGA Europe, some local governments in Poland have declared their municipalities “LGBT-free zones.” However, no local authorities have ever issued such a declaration. The report also states that the city of Lublin allegedly issued awards to the opponents of the LGBT ideology. Yet, no such awards have ever been granted; only the Lublin Voivode decided to distinguish some people for “actions aimed at protecting the institution of the family against threats from destructive ideologies.”
In addition, ILGA Europe implies that the Polish authorities restrict the freedom of assembly for people who lead a homosexual lifestyle. The LGBT movement’s demonstration in Białystok, which caused large social protests, is supposedly an example of this. The mere fact that this manifestation could take place proves that freedom of assembly for these people is not being restricted in any way. The authors of the report also claim that several participants of the parade were attacked and beaten. However, neither the Police nor any of the hospitals in Białystok have ever received a report about this.
The Polish law already provides equal protection for all citizens, regardless of their gender or sexual preferences. The Constitution of the Republic of Poland states that everyone has the right to life (art. 38), personal freedom (art. 41), protection of privacy and family life (art. 47), as well as the freedom to express opinions (54(1)), freedom of assembly (Article 57), freedom of association (art. 58(1)) and the right of asylum (art. 37(1)). Therefore, the factors indicated in the report are no reason to include any preferential protection mechanism for such persons in the Polish legal system.
“Portraying Poland as a country that violates human rights is only possible through the use of manipulative tactics, such as half-truths, misinterpretation of facts, citing opinions as evidence and ignoring the existing laws and legal definitions,” said Filip Furman, Director of the Ordo Iuris Social Sciences and Bioethics Centre and one of the co-authors of the Ordo Iuris’ response to ILGA’s report.
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