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Marek Sawicki’s comment on civil unions sparks controversy

Marek Sawicki’s comment on civil unions sparks controversy

Image source: © Tomasz Kubiak / FORUM
Marta Grzeszczuk,
03.11.2023 12:15

Marek Sawicki of the PSL party has made a comment on civil partnerships. It appears there are more opposers of LGBTQ+ rights among politicians than the rest of Polish society.

PSL’s (Polish: Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe) MP expressed his lack of personal support for legal regulation of same-sex unions in an interview with Radio Zet. According to Sawicki, non-heteronormative people can just go to public notary "to sign a notarial act and without any problem regulate whatever they want".

Should a notarial act be enough for same-sex couples?

Sawicki's statement was addressed on X by the "Miłość nie wyklucza" (English: Love Does Not Exclude) association where it listed the things that cannot be regulated with a notarial act. These are fundamental issues for any lasting relationship, such as the right to decide where to be buried, inheritance issues or joint taxation.

LGBT+ people should not have to rely on the paid support of lawyers to be able to provide their relationship with the bare minimum of security in the event of a tragedy. Politicians are deciding on the rights of LGBT+ people, and they don't even know what issues a non-heterosexual person will never settle with a public notary.

- Miłość nie wyklucza

Love Does Not Exclude showed that Sawicki is speaking on a subject he is de facto unfamiliar with. The association also stressed that even if the reality was as Sawicki presented it and same-sex couples could indeed acquire the same rights at a notary as heterosexual couples, requiring them to pay extra to lawyers to do so would still be discriminatory.

Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe
Laws regarding same-sex partnerships in Europe (Wikipedia)

A quick glance at Wikipedia shows where those opposing the legalisation of same-sex unions are mentally. In the European Union, non-heteronormative marriage is legal in 19 countries (Estonia will join them in 2024). Civil partnerships are available in 13 countries. Only Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria have not yet regulated these issues.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the legalisation of same-sex unions in Poland is that the resistance to the issue today is not a reflection of social needs, but only the private views and prejudices of conservative politicians. In many recent polls, more than 60% of Polish women and men support the right of LGBTQ people to enter into legally recognised unions.

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