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Donia Human Rights Center Lecture. LGBTQ Rights in Poland and EU: Legal and Social Perspective

September 24, 2018 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
110 Weiser Hall (first floor)

Krzysztof Śmiszek, Polish human rights lawyer, activist, and managing editor of The Anti-Discrimination Law Review

Europe, as well as the rest of the world, is witnessing rapid changes regarding perception and recognition of the rights of LGBTQ persons. Decriminalization of same-sex relations, prohibition of unequal treatment in the workplace, recognition of family rights, and equal access to goods and services are among the issues that heat up public and legal debates in the European Union member states. Poland is not an exception and debates about LGBTQ rights are also in the center of the public discourse. However, the specificity of the Polish situation is a result of a dramatic clash of diverse arguments and values, and also of a religious and political nature. Poland is torn between progressive and pro-Western orientation and traditional Catholic influence which strengthens homophobic and trans-phobic atmosphere, incitement to hatred and violence. Poland is a country where an openly gay man is one of the most popular politicians at the national level on one hand and on the other, the governing majority is almost openly questioning fundamental human rights of LGBTQ persons. The lecture will analyze these different components of political, social, and legal debates around LGBTQ rights in EU and Poland, including latest mile-stone court judgments in this field.

Krzysztof Śmiszek is a Polish human rights lawyer and activist. He is a graduate of the University of Warsaw, Faculty of Law and Administration (2003) as well as European Law Postgraduate Studies (2006). He received his Ph.D. on Human Rights Law and the European Union from University of Warsaw, Faculty of Law and Administration (2016). Currently, he is a lecturer at the Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University. Krzysztof’s main areas of interest are human rights of minorities and women with a special focus on LGBTI rights. He is also interested in international comparative perspective of anti-discrimination legislation as well as institutional protection against discrimination. He has published in Polish and English. Currently, he is a managing editor of The Anti-Discrimination Law Review.