The President of the Polish city of Gniezno banned a Pride parade due to take place on 13 April.
The European Pride Organizers Association (EPOA) highlighted banning the parade is a violation of the European Court of Human Rights judgment and the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.
As activists appeal the decision today (9 April), EPOA Kristine Garina expressed her support to the Polish city. She has written to Gniezno’s President Tomasz Budasz urging him to reconsider.
‘Your decision breaches fundamental freedoms and human rights of LGBTI people in Gniezno, and presents a poor impression of Poland across the world,’ the letter reads.
‘As you will be aware, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2007 in the case of Poland v Backowski that the banning of a Pride march in Warsaw was a breach of Articles 11, 13 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In addition, Article 57 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland also provides protection for citizens and allows them the freedom to organise peaceful assembly.’
She furthermore added: ‘Peaceful, successful Pride marches have taken place in Poland for many years, including EuroPride Warsaw in 2010. There is no justification for restricting the right of LGBTI people in Gniezno – or anywhere in Poland – to come together peacefully and to hold a Pride event. The only possible reason for attempting to ban such an event is homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.’
‘We urge you to reconsider your illegal decision, allow the event to take place this weekend, and commit to ensuring that police and other authorities provide appropriate protection to ensure the safety of the participants.’
More than 20 Prides across Poland
Gniezno joined other Polish cities hosting Pride earlier this year.
‘Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and other non-heteronormative people are not alone,’ the organizers said.
This isn’t the first attempt to ban an LGBTI event in Poland. According to EPOA, there are more than 20 Pride events across Poland.
Last year, Prides in Lublin, Rzeszow and other cities had to deal with serious political opposition. They went all ahead among the protest of nationalist, anti-LGBTI groups.
The community is also facing increasing hostility after the murder of key ally, the mayor of Gdansk Paweł Adamowicz.