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Polish court rules against printer who refused LGBT group banners

Polish court rules against printer who refused LGBT group banners

Poland’s Supreme Court ruled against a print shop employee who refused to print banners for the LGBT Business Forum.

The employee said he declined to print the banners because didn’t want to ‘promote’ the gay rights movement, the Associated Press reported.

The country’s top court said on Thursday that it was upholding an earlier ruling of a lower court. The Regional Court in Lodz had argued the principle of equality before the law meant the printer did not have the right to withhold services from the LGBT Business Forum.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister and attorney general, who slammed Thursday’s ruling as ‘against freedom.

LGBT rights upheld by Warsaw Supreme Court

’The Supreme Court has stood on the side of state violence in the service of the ideology of homosexual activists,’ Ziobro said.

The Campaign Against Homophobia, which gave legal support to the LGBT Business Forum, welcomed the ruling.

The decision comes amid European Union warnings that Poland’s judicial independence is under threat. The EU said new laws will give the conservative ruling party, Law and Justice, greater power over court appointments.

A new law regulating the Supreme Court will take effect July 3. It’s not clear if the court will be as free in the future to make rulings against positions supported by the government.

Polish printer ruling echoes Colorado cakegate

The Polish case comes as similar U.S. cases have hit the headlines recently. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Jaroslaw Jagura, a lawyer with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, said there were parallels to the U.S. case.

He said the Supreme Court ruled that sexual orientation, race or other features, cannot be the basis for refusing service. However, if the nature of the service violates the entrepreneur’s freedom of conscience, it could be.

‘Therefore, any such refusal should be considered individually. As a result, sometimes freedom of conscience and religion will be a legitimate reason for the refusal to perform the service. And at other times may constitute a manifestation of unauthorized discrimination,’ Jagura said.

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