Poland’s laws on same-sex couples violate human rights code, court rules

poland monuments rainbow pride flag
The Mermaid of Warsaw statue adorned with a rainbow flag. Photo: Stop Bzdurom

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that the lack of legal recognition and protection for same-sex couples in Poland breaches the European Convention on Human Rights. 

The court’s decision refers to five same-sex Polish couples whose application for marriage was rejected by authorities.

According to Polish law, a marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

The Strasbourg-based court ruled that Poland had failed to comply with its duty to ensure that the applicants had a specific legal framework providing for the recognition and protection of their same-sex unions.

READ MORE: Shocking map shows a third of Poland declared ‘LGBT-free zone’

That failure had resulted in the applicants’ inability to regulate fundamental aspects of their lives and amounted to a breach of their right to respect for their private and family life, the court added.

Legal recognition will grant LGBTQIA+ Poles greater social rights, in areas such as taxation and family law.

Officials have signaled that they intend to move towards change, with Poland’s equality minister Katarzyna Kotula celebrating the ruling in a post on X.

“It’s a good day. The time of discrimination is coming to an end,” she wrote. “We know that we are all different, but we are equal. We will ensure equality for all.”

In recent years, Poland has attracted criticism for its anti-LGBTQIA+ laws. The country has been rated the worst in the EU for LGBTQIA+ people to live for three successive years. 

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

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