Poland's Supreme Court rules against print shop worker who refused to make banner for LGBT group

Poland's Supreme Court rules against print shop worker who refused to make banner for LGBT group
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The Polish Supreme Court ruled this week against a print shop worker who refused to create a banner for an LGBT group, a decision hailed as a victory by gay rights groups in the country.

The court upheld a lower court ruling that the Lodz-based worker violated Polish laws that prohibit the denial of professional services “without a valid reason,” according to the Financial Times.

The print shop worker refused to create the banner, saying that it would have promoted gay rights.

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The ruling comes less than two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly sided with a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding.

The U.S. court said that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated the baker’s First Amendment rights by ruling against his refusal to bake the cake on religious grounds, but stopped short of ruling that wedding cakes are artistic expressions of speech and religion.

Slava Melnyk, a spokesperson for the Polish LGBT activist group Campaign Against Homophobia, told the Financial Times that the ruling in Poland was a “historic victory for equality.” 

“Today’s verdict is a big celebration of equality and a reason for joy for everyone who believes in law, equality and justice,” Melnyk said. “It’s also a moment to be proud of — Poland reached a milestone towards LGBT equality, and can share this with the whole world."

Poland’s justice minister, Zbigniew Ziobro, criticized the court’s decision, saying it was a “stand against” the worker’s freedoms.

“[The court] took the side of state coercion in service of the ideology of homosexual activists, against the freedom that is guaranteed in the Polish constitution to every citizen, irrespective of their worldview,” Ziobro said, according to Financial Times.

Ziobro, a member of Poland’s ruling conservative party, said he hoped the country’s constitutional court would “fix this situation” so that freedoms are not “limited” in the country.