Polish judge backs ‘homosexuals molest children’ claim in ‘shameful’ ruling


A judge in Poland has reportedly acquitted a man who drove a van bearing slogans linking homosexuality to paedophilia during a Pride parade, ruling that the messages were “true”.

The van reportedly belonged to the anti-abortion group Fundacja Pro and was covered in slogans including “homosexuals much more often molest children”, “stop the rainbow plague” and “the LGBT lobby wants to teach four-year-olds masturbation, six-year-olds sexual consent, and nine-year-olds their first sexual experience and orgasm”.

Its driver was previously found guilty of defamation for driving the van during a 2019 Pride march in Gorzów Wielkopolski.

The district court in Gorzów Wielkopolski reportedly ordered the driver to pay a 6,000 zloty (£1,152) fine and 3,000 zloty (£576) compensation for defamation in April 2023, with the judge, Krzysztof Rawo, explaining that the hate speech was only “a small step to violence”. 

This sentence was overturned on appeal, Notes From Poland reported.

Ordo Iuris, a conservative Polish Catholic legal organisation, claimed the driver was acquitted because the judge, Roman Makowski, found “truthfulness” in the anti-LGBTQ+ slogans written on the van.

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“The court recognised as proven the truthfulness of the slogans [such as] ‘homosexuals much more often molest children’,” the group said, adding that the judge had also found “the slogan ‘stop the rainbow plague’ [to be] within the framework of freedom of speech”.

Lawyer Paweł Szafraniec of Ordo Iuris wrote on Twitter about the case: “The court of second instance found the slogans to be true: ‘Homosexuals molest children many times more often’…

“He considered raising the slogan: ‘Stop the rainbow plague’ as acting within the framework of freedom of speech. 

“The District Court indicated that prohibiting the publication of the above-mentioned slogans would be tantamount to introducing censorship.”

Jerzy Wierchowicz, the lawyer representing the foundation that organised the Pride parade, told broadcaster TOK FM that the verdict was “surprising, shameful and shocking”.

Wierchowicz added: “Saying that these slogans are based on the truth is outrageous, scandalous and has nothing to do with reality.

“This is typical hate speech, speech that polarises society and arouses hatred for the LGBT community, which is, after all, a social group like any other.

“The fact that they are in the minority does not mean that they can be discriminated against.”

In May this year, Poland was ranked among the lowest nations in Europe for LGBTQ+ rights, coming in just above Russia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan on ILGA-Europe’s annual Rainbow Map and Index.  

The country was widely criticised in 2019 when more than 100 municipalities declared themselves “LGBT-free zones”, with a 2022 ruling stating that these zones must be scrapped.

Before the ruling in June 2022, some Polish towns had already dropped their official “anti-LGBTQ zone” stances after threats that they would lose millions in EU funding due to anti-discrimination laws.

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