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UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

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Poland

Overview

Although homosexual activity has been legal in Poland since 1932, same-sex marriage and civil unions are not recognised in Poland, conversion therapy is not banned, adoption for same-sex couples is illegal and in order to legally change gender status, surgery is requirued (Equaldex: LGBTQ rights in Poland).

LGBTQ map of Poland

The Equal treatment law of 2010 bans discrimination in matters of employment and occupation based on sexual orientation (Equaldex: LGBTQ rights in Poland). However, this is currently the only context in which LGBTQ discrimination is explicitly illegal in Poland. Polish law does not adequately address anti-LGBTQ hate speech or bias (LGBTQ Rights in Poland: measures to combat discrimination and violence on grounds on sexual orientation, gender, identity and sex characteristics, 2018) and Information paper on LGBTI discrimination in Poland for the European Commission against racism and intolerance, 2014). 

In the last few years, in particular since the initiation of the hate campaign against the LGBTQ community in Poland in 2018 (Annual Review of the Human Rights Situation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People in Poland Covering the Period of January to December 2020 by ILGA Europe), the LGBTQ situation has significantly deteriorated, to the point that according to the latest ILGA Europe country ranking report, Poland is now considered the worst state in the European Union for LGBTQ rights, down to just 13 percent in 2021 from 28 percent in 2014. (ILGA - Europe Rainbow Map May 2014). Interestingly, despite this rapid and worrying deterioration, according to the Pew Research Centre report on homosexuality released in 2020, the percentage of people that declare their acceptance for homosexuality grew by 5 points between 2013 and 2019 - from 42 percent top 47 percent. According to the 2019 Eurobarometer on Discrimination: the Social Acceptance of LGBTI People in the EU, 45% of Poles surveyed support same sex marriage.

Resources

Books
Dissertations
Periodicals
  • DIK Fagazine - artistic magazine from Central and Eastern Europe with a focus on homosexuality and masculinity [in English].
  • Replika - LGBTQ magazine [in Polish].
Data and statistics
Reports
News portals
Audio-visual
Organisations
Other resources
  • LGBT Film Festival is an annual event which takes place in: Warszawa, Gdańsk, Lódź, Wrocław, Lublin, Bydgoszcz, Kraków, Poznań [in Polish and English].