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.
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.”
🏳️🌈 Polska musi wprowadzić regulację związków osób tej samej płci – orzekł Europejski Trybunał Praw Człowieka!
To skandaliczne, że PiS doprowadził do tego, że osoby LGBT o swoje prawa musiały walczyć na arenie europejskiej, bo w ich ojczyźnie nienawistna władza odbierała im… pic.twitter.com/T6tlwfzmZy
— Katarzyna Kotula (@KotulaKat) December 12, 2023
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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