An amendment project of the so-called anti-discrimination act is a danger for the freedom of speech in Poland. It is to be a ‘legal hammer’ for those who are criticizing homosexual lobby

A particular anxiety of lawyers was caused by attempts of the politicians of the leftist party in the Polish parliament concerning the amendment project of the so-called anti-discriminatory act (the Seym paper 1051). Unfortunately, the amendment project submitted by the Movement of Palikot and Democratic Left Alliance is supported by MPs of the Civic Platform. – The last voting during the first reading showed that politicians reached an agreement. This dangerous project can rely on the stable majority in the Polish parliament – explains the attorney Jerzy Kwaśniewski, an expert of the Legal Centre Ordoluris.

Against a traditional family

The analysis of the amendment project done by Ordoluris is leading to a conclusion that new law would lead to a situation that public shocking with perverse sexual behaviours would be particularly protected by law and an opposition to these behaviours would be punished. What is more, an person or an institution accused of discrimination would have to prove their innocence. The project also assumes a duty of cooperation or state authorities and the local governments with homosexual organizations (LGBT) in the sphere of realizing the so-called anti-discriminatory programs, which, in practice, would mean fighting pro-family attitudes and promoting immoral behaviours for money of tax-payers and with the usage of state institutions.

The new anti-discriminatory law is wrongly presented as necessary from the perspective of international commitments of Poland. Our legislation is consistent with the EU law and the international law. The European commission confirmed the implementation of anti-discriminatory directives in Poland – emphasized Kwaśniewski. The previous act is sufficiently adjusted to the EU law. What is more, the Polish project of law is developing legal concepts which were rejected on the level of the European Union.

‘A legal hammer’

Implementation of the suggested provisions would lead to restriction of the freedom of speech. For, the amendment project assumes implementation of new messages about discrimination (it concerns ‘sex identity’ and ‘sex expression’), and also it comprises mass media with the anti-discriminatory law.

The danger for the freedom of speech is much bigger because the amendment project, beside the existing possibility of claiming for damages, also provides a possibility of claiming for financial atonement. A person, considering himself/herself as discriminated, would not have to prove the damages to gain it. It would lead to a situation in which media information which somebody subjectively recognizes as the ones causing ‘intimidating, hostile, humiliating or slandering atmosphere’, will be able to be recognized as a sign of the prohibited discrimination by law.

So, financial claims will be possible to address against media and journalists, among the others, about damages and atonement. In order to free oneself from responsibility, a journalist or an editorial office will have to prove that they did not harass anybody or an organization, of which they had been accused.

- In practice, it may turn out that the LGBT groups will use the new law as a ‘legal hammer’ against those who dare to say or write something unflattering for example about homosexuals – explains dr. hab. Aleksander Stępkowski, a director of the Legal Centre OrdoIuris. The institution run by him, deals with monitoring legislation in the Polish parliament and the EU, in terms of traditional values.

The end of scientific experiments

The promoted law can also be a danger for science. One can mention here a case of the American sociologist Marek Regnerus, the author of the most known experiments of children brought up in various environments. His work proved that children develop well in a family consisting of a mother and a father, not in homosexual couples. The experiment maintained the so-called golden standard of methodology, that is, it was conducted in a big representative group and also the whole spectrum of other factors were taken into consideration – says Bogna Białecka, the chairman of the Health Education and Psychotherapy Fund.

However, after publishing the results in a prestigious scientific magazine ‘Social Science’, the scientist was publicly accused by LGBT lobby, which caused a big pressure in order to discredit his experiments. – The Americans are related to freedom of speech and freedom of experiments. Therefore, the experiments of Regnerus were protected by the environment of scientists – explains Białecka.

Polish scientists are afraid to do some experiments now. And what will happen if the new law is implemented? – As a result, there will be preventive censorship which will also affect scientific groups, blocking freedom of experiments and freedom of publishing conclusion on their basis – says Białecka.

Unfortunately, everything points to the fact that the leftist party has already reached an accord with the governing party. – The Seym has expressed its positive opinion twice in this issue. Both in the first reading of the project and during a forum of the Social Policy and Family Commission. In the nearest time, the project will be submitted to a debate of the Justice and Human Rights Commission – says prof. Stępkowski.


"Niedziela" 43/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl