SLAPP: Tuszów Narodowy city lawsuit against Bart Staszewski

The commune of Tuszów Narodowy filed a lawsuit against Bart Staszewski, an LGBT activist. After the commune passed the anti-LGBT declaration, Staszewski hung an “LGBT Free Zone” plaque right next to the sign with the name of the commune. This outraged the local authorities. Tuszów is already the second commune, after Zakrzówek, to bring a lawsuit against Staszewski

The plaque with the inscription “LGBT free zone” was hung under the border mark of Tuszow Narodowy at the end of July. This happened shortly after the publication of a scandalous letter from Andrzej Głaz, the commune’s mayor to the Polish Ombudsman, in which he stated that the LGBTQ community is a “rainbow plague” and a “diabolical ideology” that deserves worse punishment than Sodom and Gomorrah.

The plaque was written in several languages. It was placed by Bart Staszewski, a Lublin-based activist working for the rights of sexual minorities, who is protesting against the homophobic actions of the local authorities. The activist is famous for hanging the plaque with the inscription “LGBT-free zone” wherever local authorities have adopted anti-LGBT declarations.

“I will not be bullied by the Law and Justice party or the police, so I continue to take pictures of homophobic local governments. Today, a photo from Tuszów Narodowy, where the councillors and the mayor have been particularly disgusting towards sexual minorities”. –  Staszewski wrote on Facebook just after the plaque was placed in Tuszów in July.

They have adopted an anti-LGBT declaration, now they’re outraged by the plaque

What do the homophobic practices of the Tuszów commune consist of? It all began with the adoption of the declaration “local government free from LGBT ideology” by the municipal council in April 2019.

“The radicals striving for a cultural revolution in Poland attack the freedom of speech, the innocence of children, the authority of family and school and the freedom of entrepreneurs. This is why we will consistently defend our local community! – The councilors justified their decision. In a declaration signed by them, they announced that, guided by the virtues of “family and freedom”, they would not interfere in the private sphere of life of Poles and Polish women. In the next sentence, however, they assured us: “We will not allow  to have exaggerated problems and artificial conflicts that the LGBT ideology brings with it imposed on us.

Adam Bodnar, the Polish ombudsman, intervened in the case of the scandalous document. In a letter addressed to Tuszów’s mayor, he called for the councilors to withdraw from the homophobic declaration. In his reply, Andrzej Głaz, the mayor, explained that he would not fulfill his request, because the withdrawal of the declaration would be tantamount to “taking the side of the rainbow plague, which is the aforementioned diabolic ideology, and agreeing to the demoralisation of the young generation, starting from kindergarten.

The municipal authorities therefore adopted the anti-LGBT declaration, but felt offended by the plaque.