Polish court says campaign that linked homosexuality and paedophilia was “informative”

Poland is experiencing a wave of homophobia.

A Polish court has ruled in favour of a campaign that linked homosexuality and paedophilia, claiming it was “informative” and that it raised awareness.

Polish lawyer, Bartłomiej Ciążyński, filed a suit against the Polish non-governmental organisation, Fundacja Pro, after they launched the homophobic campaign.

The group’s campaign featured people driving around in vans with the banner “Paedophilia is 20 times more common in homosexuals. They want to teach your children. Stop them!”

Ciążyński said the campaign “insulted, slandered and violated the dignity” of the LGBTQ community, but Judge Adam Maciński, a district judge in Wrocław disagreed.

In his ruling, he said the campaign “should be considered as having an informative and social dimension” saying it highlighted the issue of paedophilia.

He added: “It illustrates the issue of paedophilia to the public, as well as differences in the way sex education is implemented among minors…while [also] addressing the problem of extreme sexual education.

“The campaign did not take the form of aggressive criticism, let alone stigmatising or harassing the plaintiff.”

And as Poland doesn’t have any laws against hate speech targeted at the LGBTQ community, the judge said the campaign “is an expression of the defendant’s constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and of belief.”

As the judge delivered his ruling, anti-LGBTQ protesters were outside with banners reading: “Stop paedophilia: homosexuals often molest children” and “What does the LGBT lobby want to teach children?”

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Poland has been hit with a wave of homophobia from politicians, the media and religious figures. Gazeta Polska, a Polish newspaper which supports the Law and Justice Party, began distributing stickers with ‘LGBT-free zone’ printed on them.

The stickers were eventually stopped by a Warsaw district judge, and some advertisers abandoned the paper over the homophobic stunt.

Meanwhile, Catholic bishops accused IKEA of LGBTQ indoctrination, after a Polish branch fired a worker for sharing homophobic Bible verses.

The employee, known only as Tomasz K. posted homophobic Bible verses on the store’s internal intranet after the store requested staff members attend an International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia event.

Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski also claimed that a “rainbow plague” was affecting Poland, comparing LGBTQ equality to Communism.

In a sermon, he said: “Our land is no longer affected by the red plague, which does not mean that there is no new one that wants to control our souls, hearts and minds. Not Marxist, Bolshevik, but born of the same spirit, neo-Marxist. Not red, but rainbow.”

Homophobic lecturers are given almost free reign, with an investigation being launched into the sacking of a lecturer who said homosexuality was “incompatible with nature” and another one being reinstated after he claimed that LGBTQ groups were “travelling rapists” and a “plague.”

Related: European Parliament condemns Poland for its ‘LGBT-free zones’

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