Foreign same-sex marriages not unconstitutional in Poland, high court rules

The high court stated that the provision in the Polish constitution does not "in itself constitute an obstacle to transcribing a foreign marriage certificate".

People of Poland celebrate the recognition of foreign same-sex marriages in Poland.
Image: Wiki Commons

With a ruling passed on Thursday, November 3, the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Poland stated that same-sex marriages of Polish citizens legally wed in other countries are not unconstitutional.

According to Rainbow Europe, Poland has been ranked as the worst country for LGBTQ+ people in the European Union for two years in a row. This has been evident with the increase in hostility against the LGBTQ+ community in the country. Even with these harrowing statistics, the queer Polish community celebrates their new victory regarding same-sex marriage.

The article in the Polish Constitution that was up for debate, reads: “Marriage, being a union of a man and a woman, as well as the family, motherhood and parenthood, shall be placed under the protection and care of the Republic of Poland.”

People opposed to same-sex marriage in Poland argued that the article strictly refers to marriage between a man and a woman, but according to Notes From Poland, “many legal experts say that it only puts such marriages under the protection and care of the state, without prohibiting other types of unions.”

The highest court in Poland seems to agree with these experts, as evidenced by the ruling that stated: “Article 18 of the constitution cannot in itself constitute an obstacle to transcribing a foreign marriage certificate if the institution of marriage as a union of persons of the same sex was provided for in the domestic [legal] order”.

“The provision of the constitution in question does not prohibit the statutory regulation of same-sex unions,” continued the court, adding that at the moment the Polish legislature simply “has not decided to introduce such solutions” yet into Polish law.

The case was brought up at the Supreme Administrative Court by Jakub Kwieciński and Dawid Mycek, two popular influencers who are openly gay and have been fighting for marriage recognition for five years. Kwieciński and Mycek got married in Portugal, but the Governor of Mazovia denied them the right to have their marriage legally recognised in their home country. After years of disputing their case in a lower court, Thursday’s ruling represents a step forward for them and for all LGBTQ+ couples who wish to have their official marital status “in writing”.

Although LGBTQ+ rights have been subject to conservative backlash in the predominantly Catholic country, the majority of the nation is ready to defend and accept LGBTQ+ marriage and family rights. According to a survey done by Miłość Nie Wyklucza (Love Does Not Exclude), 56%  of Polish people believe same-sex marriage should be legal to ensure the safety of children, and 65%, said they felt “a biological parent raising a child with a same-sex partner” fits the definition of family.

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