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Polish court's lawsuit against LGBTI activist condemned

Last Thursday, a court in the Polish city of Radom filed a lawsuit against the LGBTI activist, Kuba Gawron – the first confirmed case brought about by a local government in Poland against LGBTI campaigners.

With the help of the ultra-conservative Christian legal think-tank, Ordo Iuris, the case was brought by Przysuski county against Gawron – one of the co-authors of the ‘Atlas of Hate’. 

The ‘Atlas of Hate’ website documents local governments in Poland which have become ‘LGBT-free zones’ by adopting discriminatory, anti-LGBT & conservative pro-family rights policies, and in gross violation of EU fundamental rights. 

In addition, Ordo Iuris has been authorised to do pursue this lawsuit by other local municipalities including Opoczyński, Przasnysz, Tarnowski and Gromadka.

Gawron and his colleague, Mirka Makuchowska, met with MEPs in the European Parliament in Strasbourg last November, and they presented their evidence of the discriminatory practise to MEPs including GUE/NGL’s Malin Björk (Vänsterpartiet, Sweden).

In its lawsuit, Przysuski county demands that its inclusion on the ‘Atlas of Hate’ is “not right” and has caused the county “repetitional damage”. They demand that ‘Atlas of Hate’: 

– pays 20 000 zloty (€4440) to organisation that support families as compensation;

– hold a press conference at the Polish Press Agency with apologies;

– hold a press conference in European Parliament to apologise.

This case against Gawron marks the latest attack by the Polish conservatives on those who dare to stand up for human rights, and against those who are brave enough to denounce rampant homophobia and persecution of LGBTI people in Poland.

Commenting on the case, Björk said:

“This is completely outrageous. If these regions are worried about their public reputation, they could just stand up for everyone’s right to love whom they wish. It is the regions themselves that have brought about the ‘bad reputation’”.

“I am deeply worried about the rule of law in Poland and the lack of an independent judiciary system. The ultra-conservative organisation Ordo Iuris is not only helping the local governments to sue Gawron, one of its founders, Aleksander Stepkowski, is also the interim head of the Supreme Court – and a close ally to the ruling PiS party.”

“If anything, Kuba and his activist colleagues are whistleblowers. In the face of this, all of us must act and raise our voices against the ultraconservatives and the complicit PiS government that wants to bully and silence all who are fighting for basic human rights.”

‘Atlas of Hate’ is currently preparing the evidence and documentation to counter the lawsuit. 

Photo: Gawron (second from left), his colleague Mirka Makuchowska & MEPs from the LGBTI intergroup meeting journalists at the EU Parliament in November 2019.

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