Donald Tusk’s new left-wing government in Poland is introducing a new draconian hate speech law that could see those who claim there are only two genders criminalized and jailed.
Barely a month into office, the Ministry of Justice has prepared a draft amendment to the country’s Penal Code to include dissent against gender identity and sexual orientation in hate speech violations.
It would mean that individuals who oppose the progressive gender ideology, or Catholics who insist that marriage can only be a union between a man and a woman in the eyes of God could be convicted of a criminal offense.
“We already have the project practically completed. Now it will be sent for inter-ministerial consultations,” Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice Krzysztof Śmiszek told Radio TOK FM.
“The entire LGBT community is waiting for this change,” added Śmiszek, a member of the New Left party in coalition with Tusk’s Civic Platform.
Poland already legislates for hate crimes in relation to race, nationality, and religion, but the amendment which could be submitted to parliament by as early as next month would add “gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity” to Art. 257 of the Penal Code — a move that would force the Catholic majority in the country to choose between staying true to their religious beliefs and keeping on the right side of the law.
Śmiszek claimed the last eight years of conservative governance in Warsaw was “filled with harassment and hate speech against people from our community. It hurt when perpetrators chose sexual orientation or gender identity as a criterion for harassment, hatred, and contempt.”
“Now — like other racist or xenophobic crimes — also those based on homophobia or transphobia will be prosecuted ex officio and will be treated as racist hate speech,” he said.
The draft legislation could see another potential showdown between the liberal government and conservative President Andrzej Duda who has the power to scupper plans.
“I hope that Mr. President will not interfere,” Śmiszek added.