Poland rejects civil partnerships but will get hate speech laws

A Polish parliamentary committee has killed a proposed civil partnerships bill but lawmakers will consider adding sexuality to the country's hate speech laws as soon as next month

Poland rejects civil partnerships but will get hate speech laws
30 June 2012

Polish lawmakers have rejected a civil partnerships bill on the 43rd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

However the largest party in its governing coalition has announced it will seek to include sexuality in the country’s hate speech laws as soon as next month.

The civil partnerships bill would have given legal recognition to both same-sex couples and unmarried cohabiting heterosexual couples in Poland for the first time but the Legislative Commission of the Polish Lower House of Parliament blocked the bill on June 28, preventing it from even being considered by lawmakers.

Supporters of the bill say that only the Lower House’s speaker, Ewa Kopacz, has the power to bring the bill back and have started a Facebook campaign in support of the bill but she has been a vocal critic of LGBT rights in the past.

But it may not be all bad news for the LGBT community in Poland as the centre-right Civic Platform party has announced it intends to introduce amendments to the country’s hate speech legislation in July.

The proposed law would add incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexuality and disability to the law which already covers nationality, race and religion.

A Civic Platform spokesman said the party was looking to cover all ‘natural personal characteristics.’

‘Natural personal characteristics include gender, state of health, sexual orientation and disabilities,’ he said.

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