POLAND’s Life and Family Foundation is furious that a court yesterday (Tuesday) acquitted three activists accused of desecrating an image of the Black Madonna and offending religious feelings.
In fact, the outfit, founded by anti-abortionist and homophobe Kaja Godek, inset above, is so angry over the verdict that she’s now soliciting funds to mount an appeal against the acquittal.
In a Facebook post Godek gives the banking details of her foundation and says that while LGBT activists are well funded, “we pro-lifers can only count on the help of Good People.”
According to this report, she’d earlier used Facebook to say:
Defending the honor of the Mother of God is the responsibility of each of us, and the guilt of the accused is indisputable. The courts of the Republic of Poland should protect (Catholics) from violence, including by LGBT activists.
This is a ludicrous statement, given the levels of hostility directed at LGBT communities in Poland. Just last month its was reported here that the “LGBT-free zones” — nearly 100 regions, towns and cities that have passed anti-gay resolutions — could encourage hate crimes and spur violence.
Indeed, it’s claimed that the zones had already led to violence at two Pride marches in the country.
The accused in the case – Elzbieta Podlesna, above, Anna Prus and Joanna Gzyra-Iskandar – had distributed posters of the Madonna with a rainbow halo in the city of Plock in 2019. Their aim was to protest what they considered the hostility of Poland’s influential Catholic Church toward LGBT people.
But a court in Płock saw no evidence of a crime and found that the activists were not motivated by a desire to offend anyone’s religious feelings, but rather wanted to defend those facing discrimination.
The case was seen in Poland as a freedom of speech test under a deeply conservative government that has been pushing back against secularisation and liberal views. Abortion has been another flashpoint in the country after the recent introduction of a near-total ban on it.
Podlesna said when the trial opened in January that the 2019 action in Płock was spurred by an installation at the city’s St Dominic’s Church that associated LGBT people with crime and sins.
She and the other two activists faced up to two years of prison if found guilty.
An LGBT rights group, Love Does Not Exclude, welcomed the ruling as a “breakthrough.”
This is a triumph for the LGBT+ resistance movement in the most homophobic country of the European Union.
Podlesna was arrested in an early morning police raid on her apartment in 2019, held for several hours and questioned over the posters. A court later said the detention was unnecessary and ordered damages of about $2,000 awarded to her.
The prosecution of the women appears to have been instigated by Poland’s Minister of the Interior, Joachim Brudzinski, above. In 2019 the Catholic zealot said:
The profanation of the image of the Mother of God in Płock pains us greatly. We urge people, regardless of their beliefs and views, to respect the religious feelings of believers. Let’s pray for the transformation of hearts and the conversion of unbelievers and enemies of the Church.
The image of Our Lady of Częstochowa, for centuries sacred to all generations of Poles, was profaned in Płock. Police will deal with the matter as their duty. There can be no consent in the name of pseudo-tolerance to this type of cultural barbarism.
In a video posted to YouTube today (Wednesday) Podlesna gave a background to the prosecution and suggested that international coverage of the trial had proved an embarrassment for the Polish government, and this was what had led to the “not guilty” verdicts.