The Supreme Court of Poland has ruled against a print shop owner who declined to create a banner for a homosexual group as he believed that it would be wrong to promote something that God calls a sin. The banner was reportedly to have announced upcoming events hosted by the organization.
The matter began in 2015 when the Lodz-based printer, who is only being identified as Adam J., turned down the project for the LGBT Business Forum, citing his convictions.
The matter was consequently brought before the regional court in Lodz, which ruled last year that Adam did not have a right to decline to print the banner as it would be inequitable under the law. While Polish law also allows for refusal in the event of a “justified cause,” the court did not find the printer’s religious convictions to be a sufficient argument.
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Poland’s minister of justice, Zbigniew Ziobro, then filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, which upheld the regional court ruling on June 14.
The Polish homosexual advocacy group Campaign Against Homophobia cheered the ruling, calling it a “historic victory for equality.”
“It’s also a moment to be proud of. Poland reached a milestone towards LGBT equality, and can share this with the whole world,” spokesperson Slava Melnyk stated, according to The Hill.
Ziobro, however, expressed disappointment with the decision, characterizing it as an “assault on freedom.”
“The Supreme Court has stood on the side of state violence in the service of the ideology of homosexual activists,” he lamented.
“I consider the ruling a mistake as it violates the freedom of conscience enshrined in the constitution,” Ziobro stated. “It’s about principles rather than prejudice against any groups. If a service provider refuses to carry out a service, the customer may turn to their competitors.”
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International, which filed an intervention with the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland this week, also decried the outcome of the Poland high court.
“The Supreme Court should have protected the printer’s constitutional conscience rights. The right to freedom of conscience, which is protected by every major human rights treaty, must include the right to act accordingly,” it said in a statement.
“The court failed to recognize the printer’s religious convictions as a ‘justified cause.’ The Constitutional Tribunal should now address the shortcomings of the current law and determine whether religious beliefs would justify a conscience-based refusal to print a particular message,” ADF opined.