Adam Bodnar, the former Ombudsman and current Minister of Justice and Attorney General, apologised to LGBT activists for the wrongs committed by the previous government.
It is no secret that the United Right (Polish: Zjednoczona Prawica) government has disrespected, disobeyed and often insulted the LGBT minority. Przemyslaw Czarnek said they were "not normal people", former education superintendent Barbara Nowak accused non-heteronormative people of paedophilia, and Jaroslaw Kaczynski ridiculed transgender people.
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On Wednesday, 31 January, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Adam Bodnar held a meeting with representatives of organisations that work for the rights of LGBT minorities. During the meeting, he apologised to them for all the injustices they had endured during the eight years of the United Right government.
Adam Bodnar met with LGBT activists
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Adam Bodnar, invited LGBT activists to visit him. Representatives from organisations such as the Campaign Against Homophobia, Miłość nie Wyklucza, and the BASTA Foundation arrived at the ministry's headquarters. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Minister of Justice Krzysztof Śmiszek. Adam Bodnar began the discussion with the activists by offering an apology.
"The past eight years have given us much to reflect upon. We must take responsibility for the wrongs that have been committed. I would like to apologise for the injustice that the Polish state has caused you. I understand that this was a deeply personal issue for you. The ministry is aware of this, and we feel obligated to take further action within the ministry and the prosecutor's office," said Adam Bodnar, as quoted by Bart Staszewski, the head of the BASTA Foundation.
"These apologies were significant for many people. However, it is equally important that the new authorities don't ignore the issue. They should acknowledge that what happened to us during the Law and Justice regime was harmful. Our community needs this acknowledgement. I'm glad that the new government is willing to take responsibility for the past, even though they weren't involved," said Julia Maciocha, a long-time Equality Parade in Warsaw organiser, in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza.
Banning hate speech directed at LGBT people
Adam Bodnar and Krzysztof Śmiszek met with LGBT activists to discuss legislative changes to improve non-heteronormative individuals' situation. The activists are advocating for the Criminal Code to include provisions that ban hate speech based on gender and sexual orientation. Such speech would be prohibited in the same way that offensive language based on religion, nationality or skin colour is banned.
"The government's draft of such an amendment is expected next week. For us, the law change is crucial in the fight against homophobia," Bart Staszewski told Gazeta Wyborcza.
Source: Gazeta Wyborcza