Poland court orders dissolution of ‘LGBT-free’ zones News
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Poland court orders dissolution of ‘LGBT-free’ zones

The Supreme Administrative Court of Poland Tuesday dismissed the appeals of four municipalities whose LGBT-free resolutions were annulled by lower courts, marking a victory for LGBTIQ+ rights in a country where they are often discriminated against.

In 2020, the Polish Human Rights Ombudsman filed nine lawsuits against the government over the municipalities instituting so-called ‘LGBT-free’ zones. Lower courts ordered the municipalities to eliminate their LGBT bans, a decision the towns of Serniki, Klwów, Istebna and Osiek challenged in the administrative court.

Addressing a resolution put forth by the province of Lublin declaring the region “free of LGBT ideology,” Judge Małgorzata Masternak-Kubiak said “the challenged resolution interferes with the dignity and private life of this group of residents which identify themselves as LGBT people.”

The issue of LGBTIQ+ rights has often set Poland against the European Union. In March 2021 the European Parliament issued a resolution declaring the European Union to be an ‘LGBTIQ Freedom Zone’ targeting the eruption of more than 100 LGBT-free zones that erupted across Poland. A May 2021 report by the European Council called for the dissolution of such areas.

In September the EU threatened to withhold funding from regions designated as LBGT-free, leading Podkarpackie, Lubelskie and Małopolska to repeal such zones.