Scroll To Top

Polish Court Blocks Distribution of Anti-LGBTQ Stickers

LGBT free zone sticker

A right-wing magazine generated outrage earlier this month promising to give the stickers out free in its editions.

The Warsaw District court ruled a right-wing magazine in Poland must stop distributing now infamous "LGBT-Free Zone" stickers.

Groups like Human Rights Watch heralded the decision as a "welcome relief" as the country continues to battle increasingly hostile anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.

Gazeta Polska earlier this month generated outrage with a decision to distribute stickers in its pages that read "Strefa Wolna od LGBT," or "Free Zone from LGBT," and showed a rainbow design with a black X across it.

The magazine continued to promote the stickers in a pinned tweet on their Twitter page even after the court ruling. Publishers appeared to indicate they could fight the ruling.

Editor-in-Chief Tomasz Sakiewicz said in a statement reported by the Polish publication that he vows to not to "give in now."

"We were dealing with the largest act of censorship in the history of the Third Polish Republic," Sakiewicz said in Polish. "... This is the effect of neo-Marxist ideologists operating under the rainbow flag. We have signals that attacks on sales and attempts to intimidate sellers by political censors are underway."

U.S. diplomats have sharply criticized the sticker campaign.

"I am disappointed and concerned that some groups use stickers to promote hatred and intolerance," said Georgette Mosbacher, U.S. Ambassador to Poland. "We respect freedom of speech, but we must stand together on the side of values such as diversity and tolerance."

The sticker release came amid growing tension, driven by Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party, around LGBTQ representation. For example, new education curriculum guidelines in Polish schools now openly reinforce discriminatory attitudes against sexual and gender minorities.

"Despite the government's efforts to curb judicial independence, courts in Poland have been an important backstop against insidious 'LGBT ideology' claims," writes Kyle Knight, a Human Rights Watch researcher.

Leaders of the Law and Justice Party have openly compared LGBTQ individuals to pedophiles.

"We're against the affirmation of LGBT ideology and the aggressiveness of this ideology which attacks our basic national and Catholic family values," PiS lawmaker Janusz Szewczak told Reuters.

Poland this month saw the first-ever Pride parade in conservative Bialystok marred by violent counter-protests, followed by a major pro-LGBTQ protest in the nation's capitol city, Warsaw.

Meanwhile, a campaign on Twitter has seen tens of thousands speak out online using the hashtag #jestemLGBT, which translates to "I am LGBT."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Jacob Ogles