Poland’s Supreme Court rules in favor of LGBT organization

On a landmark case, the top court ruled against a printer who refused to print posters for an LGBT business group. Photo: shutterstock.com/Bobica10

An LGBT organization won a landmark legal battle in Poland on Thursday, when it’s Supreme Court ruled against a printer who refused to print posters for the group because he did not want to “promote” the gay rights movement.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Zbigniew Ziobro, Poland’s justice minister and attorney general. Minister Ziobro announced that he would refer the case to the Constitutional Tribunal - the constitutional court established to resolve disputes on the constitutionality of the activities of state institutions and supervise the compliance of statutory law with the Polish constitution.

Attorney General: Supreme Court biased

Mr Ziobro was quoted as saying that: “The Supreme Court in this case spoke against freedom and acted as a state oppressor by servicing the ideology of homosexual activists. The court acted against the freedom guaranteed in the Polish constitution to every citizen, no matter what worldview he holds.”

The attorney general said that the Supreme Court took the side of those who “want to use the state apparatus in order to violate freedom.”

He added that the top court also stood against economic freedom that is guaranteed to every business entity.

The justice minister said that the printer did not refuse to perform the service because the clients were homosexual. “For this reason, he did not stigmatize or criticize them in the least. He refused to perform services whose content ...was obviously contrary to his faith and his beliefs and values.”

LGBT Group: Historic victory of equality

The Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH), which gave legal support to the LGBT Business Forum, welcomed the ruling. Cecylia Jakubczak of KPH was reported as saying that the judgment of the Supreme Court is a “historic victory of equality in Poland.”

“We believe that soon the issues of legal changes affecting LGBT people will gain momentum. And this will allow gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people living in Poland to live with dignity and at par with others,” added Ms Jakubczak.

What happened?

In 2016, LGBT Business Forum ordered posters with the organization's logo at a printing house in Łódź in central Poland.

However, the printing house worker sent an email statement saying: “I refuse to do a roll up of the graphics I have received. We do not contribute to the promotion of LGBT movements with our work.”

The Regional Court in Łódź had argued that the principle of equality before the law meant the printer did not have the right to withhold services from the LGBT Business Forum.

Poland’s top court upheld the ruling of the lower court.