Polish Supreme Court Rules against Printer

Country: Poland

Date of incident: June 14, 2018

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Governmental



Poland's Supreme Court ruled against a printer who refused to create a roll-up banner for an LGBT business group because he did not want to "promote" the gay rights movement, citing his Catholic religious beliefs. The Court held that although there may be legally justifiable reasons to refuse services based on religious objections, in this case they did not apply.

The Court explained that since the poster was advertising for the LGBT Business Forum Foundation and did not promote "content [or behavior] that is obviously contrary to the principles of his fath," his refusal violated Article 138. Article 138 was passed in 1972 during Communism to prevent shopkeepers from hiding goods in short supply from some customers in order to provide them to other customers. The Supreme Court held that the article now serves a general anti-discrimination prohibition in the provision of goods and services.


The Court went on to note that the business group's "goal was to introduce the principle of equal treatment of LGBT people in the workplace." According to the Court, the Foundation promoted, among others, "principles of equality and non-discrimination in the workplace, and an open approach to LGBT consumers and consumers."


The Court then cited Section 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the context of the 6th Commandmen, noting that it requires that the members of the Catholic community treat homosexual people with respect, compassion and sensitivity and to avoid any signs of unjust discrimination towards them.


Therefore, the Court concluded that reference by the defendant to his religious beliefs "did not constitute a justified reason for the refusal to perform the service, because in this case, the higher value was the constitutional prohibition of discrimination in economic life."


The Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture filed a complaint with the Constitutional Tribunal to remove Article 138 from Polish law as no longer relevant in today's Poland, and also announced its intention to appeal the Court's ruling in the European Court of Human Rights.


Source: Gazeta Prawna