Poland LGBT Laws

Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

The legal age of consent for sexual activity is fifteen (15) years. If a person over eighteen (18) years aged, has sexual intercourse with a person under fifteen (15) (even with his/her consent), only the person over eighteen (18) may be punished, not the juvenile. [R1.1].

Article 200

Whoever subjects a minor under 15 years of age to sexual intercourse or makes him/her submit to another sexual act shall be subject to the penalty of the deprivation of liberty for a term between 1 and 10 years [R1.1].

R1.1 Interpol: Sexual offences against children Spring 06
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation, Surrogacy
1. National

On 10 July 2015, the Senate voted 46-43 with 4 abstentions to approve a government bill already approved by the lower house that provides coherent regulations for in vitro fertilization and makes the procedure also available to unwed couples, but not same-sex couples. It now needs the signature of the President [R1.1].

R1.1 USnews: Polish Senate approves new law on in vitro fertilization as gov’t tries to boost births 10 JUL 15
Civil Unions, Partners: Registered, Domestic Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 26 May 2015, for a fourth time, the parliament voted 215-146 (24 abstentions, 75 non-voting) to table the discussion of the proposed law which would allow same-sex couples to have similar rights to opposite-sex married couples [R1.7].

On 17 December 2014, for the third time, the Parliament voted 235-185 with 18 abstentions, against putting a gender-neutral civil unions bill on the agenda of this parliamentary session [R1.6].

On 25 January 2013, the Parliament rejected legislation that would have allowed couples to register partnerships and gain the right to inherit property tax-free and to make life decisions in the other partner’s name, among other privileges [R1.5].

On 28 August 2012, Rafal Grupinski, head of Civic Platform’s (PO) parliamentary club, announced that another draft civil partnerships law by MP Artur Dunin would be submitted to the speaker’s desk for a formal reading in parliament. The bill faces strong opposition from the vocal and potent conservative bloc in parliament [R1.4].

On 28 June 2012, the Legislative Commission of the Polish Lower House of Parliament blocked the civil partnership bill 15–3, preventing it from even being considered by lawmakers [R1.3].

On 17 May 2011, the Democratic Left Alliance filed a draft civil partnerships bill would cover the right to communal property, joint taxation and inheritance on death of partner [R1.2].

In 2003, legislators of the ruling Democratic Left Alliance presented plans to liberalize the nation’s strict anti-abortion law and to allow gay couples partnership rights similar to those guaranteed by marriage. However, there was no guarantee the plans would be adopted [R1.1].

The proposed laws would grant gay and lesbian couples joint property and inheritance rights, although they would not be allowed to adopt children [R1.1].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 02 March 2010, the European Court of Human Rights rejected the argument that a Constitutional definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman can be used to justify the denial of certain family rights to cohabiting same-sex partners [R2.1].

R1.7 GayStarNews: Poland rejects gay civil unions for the fourth time 28 MAY 15
R1.6 GayStarNews: Poland rejects gay civil unions for a third time 19 DEC 14
R1.5 Wall Street Journal: Poland Rejects Proposed Gay Civil Unions 25 JAN 12
R1.4 New Poland Express: Big step for civil partnerships 31 AUG 12
R1.3 GayStarNews: Poland rejects civil partnerships but will get hate speech laws 30 JUN 12
R1.2 The News.pl: Poland’s left introduces bill on same-sex partnerships 17 MAY 11
R1.1 Associated Press: Leftist government to propose legislation that would liberalize anti-abortion law, allow gay marriages 23 OCT 03
R2.1 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: European Court Faults Polands in Gay Tenant Succession Case PDF 190.47kb, APR 10
PinkNews.co.uk: European court rules Poland discriminated against gay man 03 MAR 10
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In 2004, discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity became unlawful [R1.1]

In December 2008, Poland was amongst the 66 countries that signed the joint UN statement for LGBT human rights [R1.2].

In August 1996, the Parliament was set to debate a new draft constitution that included Article 22, paragraph 2 stating:

“No one can be discriminated against because of their sex, race, national or ethnic background, health, physical or mental disability, social background, place of birth, sexual orientation, language spoken, religious faith or lack thereof, opinions, material status or for any other reason” [R1.3].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 14 June 2018, the Supreme Court reportedly upheld the lower Regional Court in Lodz ruling against a print shop employee who refused to print banners for an LGBT business group because he did not want to ”promote” the gay rights movement,. The Court found that sexual orientation, race or other features of a person cannot be the basis for refusal to offer a service, but that if the nature of the service violates the entrepreneur’s freedom of conscience, it could be [R2.3].

On 02 March 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Poland discriminated against a gay man for refusing to treat him and his partner in the same way as a straight married couple in an application to renew a tenancy agreement, refusing to recognise cohabitation of gay partners [R2.2].

In August 2009, a judge in the northwest of the country fined a woman the equivalent of more than $5,000 for using homophobic slurs to describe her gay male neighbor [R2.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 700.06kb, MAY 09
R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: 66 Countries Back UN Statement on Rights of Sexual Minorities 19 DEC 08
R1.3 IGLHRC ERN Vol V No. 4: Poland Debates Draft Constitution AUG 96
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.3 TheWichitaEagle: Polish court rules against man who wouldn’t serve LGBT group 15 JUN 18
R2.2 PinkNews.co.uk: European court rules Poland discriminated against gay man 03 MAR 10
R2.1 The Advocate: Woman Fined for Homophobia in Poland 07 AUG 09
Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 28 November 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that Adam K, a same-sex partner, can inherit the right to a deceased’s rented apartment, saying that the right applies equally to a cohabiting same-sex partner if he, or she, had been in an “emotional and physical” relationship with the deceased [C1.4], [R1.3].

On 02 March 2010, a panel of the European Court of Human Rights held that Polish officials violated Articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights when they categorically denied tenant succession rights to same-sex couples but allowed succession rights to unmarried opposite-sex couples, in Kozak v. Poland, no. 13102/02 [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.4 Case: III CZP 65/12 (in Polish) 28 NOV 12
R1.3 The Washington Post: Poland’s Supreme Court says same-sex partners have inheritance right 29 NOV 12
C1.2 ECHR: Kozak v Poland [2010] ECHR 280, 2 MAY 10
R1.1 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes: European Court Faults Polands in Gay Tenant Succession Case PDF 190.47kb, APR 10
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual
1. National

On 09 October 2015, the committees responsible for carrying out the Sejm lower house vote on the Gender Accordance Act granting more rights to trans citizens failed to produce the necessary reports and name reporting secretaries in advance, leaving the 02 October veto by President Andrzej Duda unchallenged [R1.3].

On 02 October 2015, President Andrzej Duda on Friday vetoed the Gender Accordance Act which was approved by the Polish Parliament (Sejm) 252-158 (11 abstentions) on 23 July. The act will now returns to the parliament where the veto can only be rejected with 3/5 of votes [R1.2].

On 07 August 2015. the Senate was reported to have voted to pass the Gender Accordance Act with significant last-minute amendments that could add another layer of procedural difficulty to the gender recognition process. The lower House parliamentary committee is expected to analyse the amended Act in September [R1.1].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 01 June 2016, a court in Warsaw reportedly issued a decision that allows a Polish citizen, who transitioned legally in Germany, to change her personal data (gender marker and first as well as last name) without obtaining a transsexual diagnosis and going through a civil court case in Poland [R2.1].

R1.3 GayStarNews: Polish government dumps gender recognition law 09 OCT 15
R1.2 GayStarNews: Polish President vetoes Gender Accordance laws 03 OCT 15
R1.1 ILGAeurope: Polish Senate votes on first-ever Gender Accordance Act 07 AIG 15
R2.1 trans-fuzja: Groundbreaking Court Decision in Poland on Gender Recognition Abroad 21 JUN 16
Hate Crimes Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 28 June 2012, the centre-right Civic Platform party announced it intends to introduce amendments to the country’s hate speech legislation in July to add incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexuality and disability to the law which already covers nationality, race and religion [R1.1].

R1.1 GayStarNews: Poland rejects civil partnerships but will get hate speech laws 30 JUN 12
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [AGE OF CONSENT]
1. National

In 1932, consensual sex between same-sex couples became lawful [R1.1].

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 700.06kb, MAY 09
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 22 March 1997, Poland’s new constitution, which passed Parliament 461–31, specifically bans gay marriage [R1.2].

In April 2011, Ministry of Interior spokeswomen Małgorzata Woźniak said Polish registry offices will be issued with a new type of certificate – which is needed for all couples, heterosexual or homosexual who wish to get married outside of Poland – without the section calling for the identification of the future spouse and so taking away the possibility that the registrar could refuse to sign it if he or she was against same-sex partnerships [R1.1].

R1.2 Capital Q: Poland Bans Gay Marriage 27 MAR 97
R1.1 thenews.pl: Poland to end gay marriage abroad discrimination 27 APR 11
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 11 October 2018, an official of the Supreme Administrative Court reportedly confirmed that the court had given the lesbian parents of a Polish boy the right to register him in Poland as their child. The Polish woman and her female partner were registered as the child’s parents in Britain, where the boy was born in 2014 [R1.1].

R1.1 HuffingtonPost: Lesbian Couple Granted The Right To Register Child As Their Own In Poland 12 OCT 18