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Polish court rules against newspaper distributing ‘LGBT-free zone’ stickers

The stickers caused outrage when plans to distribute them were revealed.

Last week, the Polish newspaper Gazeta Polska, which supports the ruling Law and Justice Party, revealed plans to distribute ‘LGBT-free zone’ stickers.

The stickers show the rainbow flag, but with a black cross superimposed over it. The stickers were met with condemnation, including from the US Ambassador to Poland.

Bartosz Staszewski, an LGBTQ activist and organiser of the Lublin Equality March, took his complaint to the Warsaw district court, who subsequently ruled that the paper needed to stop handing out the stickers. Retailers also boycotted the paper over the stickers.

Among the retailers boycotting the paper are BP Plc, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Empik SA. In a statement, BP Plc said they boycotted the paper as “it doesn’t support attitudes displaying aversion to any group of people.”

Following the ruling, at a press conference, Staszewski said: “It’s our small-big victory against homophobia in Poland.”

Michał Wawrykiewicz, a lawyer in the case, is reported by Wirtualnemedia, as saying: “We can not stand the situation that the free sphere of our country would be violated for anyone.

“We are dealing with a disgraceful action, which I would compare to the Nur für Deutsche [Germans only] driving in times of occupation, where there was no admission for Poles.

“Now people are trying to segregate LGBT people. It is unacceptable in a democratic state of law and a member state of the European Union.”

However, the editor of the paper has hit out on Twitter calling the decision “fake news”. In a translated tweet, Tomasz Sakiewicz wrote: “Beloved Readers, tomorrow Gazeta Polska normally in kiosks. It was fakenews. There is no safeguard clause.

“The court’s decision, if it exists, is unlawful and unenforceable. If somewhere specifically they will hide the newspaper or sticker, we report the matter to the prosecutor’s office.”

Bloomberg reports that in an editorial, the paper wrote: “LGBT is not a minority, it’s a paradigm which appears to have all the features of a totalitarian ideology.”

Poland isn’t a bastion for LGBTQ equality, with Rainbow Europe ranking the country 39/49 on its LGBTQ equality index.

And last year, the country’s president, Andrzej Duda, said he would support a ‘gay propaganda’ law coming into place, similar to the existing one in Russia.

Following the cancellation of pro-LGBTQ events that were due to take place in some Polish schools, and organised by the Campaign Against Homophobia, he said: “I think that this kind of propaganda should not take place in schools, it has to be calmly and consistently opposed.

“If such a law was created and would be well written, I do not exclude that I would approach it seriously.”

Related: Gay Polish MP challenges government over lack of LGBTQ rights

The post Polish court rules against newspaper distributing ‘LGBT-free zone’ stickers appeared first on Gay Times.

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Author: Matt Moore

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