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Equality March in Poznań. Attorney Anna Mazurczak on the situation of LGBT people in Poland

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We have long passed the moment when we could say that we would be satisfied with partnerships. Marriage equality, adoption, transgender rights, equal treatment, protection against discrimination and hate speech. These are still valid demands, but no half-measures – said on TVN24 attorney Anna Mazurczak from the Polish Society of Anti-Discrimination Law, who took part in the Equality March in Poznań.

On Saturday the 19th Equality March was organized in Poznań. According to estimates, it is the second largest march in Poland. It also ended Pride Month – a month of pride, filled with equality marches around the world. Every year, for 30 days in June, the equality and acceptance that everyone deserves is emphasized.

– During the march, I always feel that here everyone can be themselves and feel free, good, calm and safe – said Anna Mazurczak, attorney, on TVN24. She noted that “of course it was not always like this and not in all cities in Poland it looks like this.”

As she emphasized, for her “the most important goal of the march is, especially for people who experience violence or discrimination on a daily basis because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, that at least for this small moment of the year they can feel relieved, take a breath, throw off this weight from your breast.

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Equality march in Poznań Kalbar Archive/PAP

“In a happy society we have a very unhappy minority”

The lawyer mentioned research on the psychological consequences of discrimination, including people in the health sector LGBT. – There are studies that compare the mental condition of LGBT people to the condition of people living in Poland in general. What is most shocking is that in recent years, among LGBT people, the number of people who have symptoms of very severe depression or suicidal thoughts has increased significantly. One-fifth of LGBT people living in Poland have symptoms of severe depression compared to half a percent of the general population, Mazurczak noted.

“The most shocking thing is that in this happy society we have a relatively small, very unhappy minority.”

At the same time, she noted that “there are progress in terms of legal protection.” – I have a feeling that 10-15 years ago we were fighting for something else. As for today, when it comes to legal protection and what we can win in the courts, I would say that it is better. I also have the feeling that because of this widespread homophobia in the political environment, because of all these homophobic and transphobic statements by public figures, the judges even felt that this is the moment when there is no hope that the parliament will pass laws that will better protect the community of LGBT that we have to do it. More and more often I have the feeling that judges in Polish courts hear us and are actually ready to provide legal protection in these discriminatory and violent cases, and they do not condemn us to a battle at the international level every time – said Mazurczak.

“In a happy society we have a relatively small, very unhappy minority”TVN24

Mazurczak: These are our postulates. No half measures

In her opinion, the most pressing issue is the change in the gender determination procedure for transgender people. – So that they do not have to go through humiliating court proceedings, which often take a long time to change the gender on their documents. I think that’s a priority,” she said.

– We have long passed the moment when we could say that we will be satisfied with partnerships. Oh no. Marriage equality, adoption, transgender rights, equal treatment, protection against discrimination and hate speech. These are still valid demands, but no half-measures, she announced.

Main photo source: Kalbar Archive/PAP



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