Civil unions require referendum: presidential candidate

Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, a presidential candidate and head of the Polish People’s Party told weekly Wprost that in order to introduce civil unions in Poland, the question should first be approved in a referendum.

“The topic of civil unions comes back before every election, and hasn’t been resolved yet. That is why I believe that in this case we need to refer to [Polish] citizens in a referendum,” Mr Kosiniak-Kamysz said. The issue would apply to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples in Poland, however, same-sex couples do have certain rights, as do all couples who share a household: the right not to testify against their partner and residency rights under EU law.

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are allowed to donate blood, and can serve openly in Poland’s Armed Forces. Transgender people are allowed to change their legal status after hormone replacement therapy. Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is banned by Polish law.

The current government is sceptical towards the LGBT rights movement. In 2019, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice party, Jarosław Kaczyński called the LGBT movement a "foreign imported threat to the nation."

However, incumbent President Andrzej Duda has recently said that he would “seriously consider signing a bill” on civil unions, especially if it considered “all people living in informal relationships.”

Abortion law

The Polish People’s Party’s candidate also indicated that the so-called “abortion compromise” of 1993 shouldn’t be changed. “Here a referendum wouldn’t be necessary, however, I believe that most citizens would say they support the current compromise,” he added.

Under the current law, abortion is only legal if performed to protect the mother’s life or health, if the foetus exhibits signs of irreversible damage or a life-threatening disorder or where the pregnancy results from crime.