Poland’s highest court rules same-sex marriages are not banned
The Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Poland (Naczelny Sąd Administracyjny, NSA) issued a ruling on Nov. 3 that same-sex marriages of Polish citizens legally married in other countries were not expressly forbidden under the country’s constitution.
Article 18 of the constitution states: “marriage as a union of a man and a woman, family, motherhood and parenthood are under the protection and care of the republic of Poland.”
“Article 18 of the constitution cannot in itself constitute an obstacle to transcribing a foreign marriage certificate if the institution of marriage as a union of persons of the same sex was provided for in the domestic [legal] order,” the court ruled.
“The provision of the constitution in question does not prohibit the statutory regulation of same-sex unions,” said the court, adding that it was simply the case that “at present the Polish legislature has not decided to introduce such solutions” into Polish law.
The suit had been brought by Jakub Kwieciński and Dawid Mycek, a gay couple who are popular vloggers and social media celebrities who had legally married in Portugal. The case was litigated in the lower courts after the governor of the Polish province of Mazovia refused to acknowledge that their nuptials were legal.
Ordo Iuris, a Polish ultraconservative legal group that has campaigned against what it labels “LGBT ideology,” tweeted that the decision was “fake news.”
LGBTQ rights have become a hotly contested issue in Poland in recent years that has been met by a conservative backlash in this heavily Catholic nation.
The majority of Polish people support LGBTQ rights surrounding marriage and family, according to research by Miłość Nie Wyklucza (Love Does Not Exclude.)
The survey found 56 percent of respondents believe same-sex marriage should be legal to ensure the safety of their children. Even more, 65 percent, said they felt “a biological parent raising a child with a same-sex partner” fits the definition of family. And 58 percent of people said a same-sex couple is a family even without children.
According to Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland is one of only six EU member states where same-sex couples cannot marry or register a civil partnership.
The survey reveals a stark difference between the Polish government and public opinion on LGBTQ rights.
As a result of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, and the continued limits on LGBTQ rights in Poland, the country has for the last three years been ranked as the worst in the EU for LGBTQ people by ILGA-Europe, a Brussels-based NGO.
Poland has also drawn condemnations from the EU for its discriminatory laws surrounding LGBTQ people.
In September, the European Commission threatened to withhold pandemic relief funds, totaling over 126 million euros ($150 million,) in Polish jurisdictions that passed measures forming “LGBTQ Free Zones.”
Some regions have since repealed the anti-LGBTQ resolution.
In 2020, Poland narrowly re-elected President Andrzej Duda, who ran a campaign that regularly attacked the LGBTQ community, according to Pink News.
Polish LGBTQ advocates are also pushing back against a proposed law that would ban the so-called “promotion” of LGBTQ lifestyles. It would also make Pride parades illegal.