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There is a final verdict for the originator of homophobes. Activists happy

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Five years ago, vans with loudspeakers and banners appeared on the streets of Polish cities disseminating degrading, exclusionary and offensive content against LGBT+. Now the court has confirmed that it is hate speech and sentenced the person who invented it all. The judgment is final.

First, passers-by stood in their way, and now the court stopped them. Homophobuses will no longer travel – their originator has been legally convicted in a precedent-setting judgment. – We are very happy and satisfied. We believe that Poland needs such decisions because you cannot insult other people on the streets in such a way – commented Katarzyna Warecka, lawyer, representative of the Tolerado Association for LGBT people.

Slogans from loudspeakers and on vans have been offensive in many Polish cities for years. – We could hear these hideous messages from the loudspeakers, disgusting, untrue, showing us as a threat – described Bart Staszewski, LGBT activist, co-founder of the Basta Foundation.

Read also: The Strasbourg Court and a historic judgment

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Where the state failed, citizens tried. – They simply stood in front of these buses and said: I do not consent to this, you will not drive around my city and spread slogans that are untrue, that are hateful – recalls Mirosława Makuchowska from the Campaign Against Homophobia.

The fact that the slogans on the van were hateful, stigmatizing, exclusionary and false was confirmed by the Gdańsk court, to which activists and private individuals went together. The opinion is the same both in the first and in the second instance. – These messages should be considered hate speech against the sexual orientation and sexual life of the victims – said Małgorzata Uszacka, judge of the District Court of Gdańsk-Południe in March 2023.

Szymon Hołownia about civil partnershipstvn24.pl

The government wants changes to the law

The action was conceived and organized by the president of the Pro Right to Life Foundation, Mariusz Dzierżawski. Now he will have to do community service for a year, apologize and pay restitution. Activists find this verdict hard to believe.

– We expected that we would do nothing before the Polish courts – admitted Warecka. – We thought that we would have to go to the European Court of Human Rights, but in Poland it turned out that it is possible, even though there are no regulations that would define a hate crime motivated by homophobia – commented Jacek Jasionek from the Tolerado Association for LGBT People.

See also: Homophobus driver sentenced, government wants to include hate speech in the Penal Code

The government wants to introduce changes to the law and include hate speech in the Criminal Code. – Just as today we have regulations prohibiting hate speech motivated by race or ethnic origin, we want to add to this catalog, among others, sexual orientation and gender, so that sexual orientation or being a member of any minority will never again be a reason for contempt or hatred – said Krzysztof Śmiszek, Deputy Minister of Justice, MP of the Left. – We have a promise from the Ministry of Justice that this project will be ready by the end of February and will be processed in the Sejm – said Katarzyna Kotula, Minister for Equality, MP from the Left.

Main photo source: TVN24

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