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Sentenced for insulting gay Pole

by Editorial Staff in General , 10 oktober 2009

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

In Poland a 44-year old woman was sentenced to pay a fine of 3.645 euro for offending her homosexual neighbor. Ryszard Giersza (25) was pummeled with bricks and tomatoes after the woman had called him a faggot in public.

In his ruling the judge said that ‘everybody has the right to a protected private life’, which is seen as an important breakthrough by Polish gay organizations. It’s the first time a gay person has fought back after being insulted like that.

Ryszard Giersza was first faced with harassment in February 2009 after his boyfriend had moved in with him in the little town of Wolina in the North West of Poland. “The faggot has brought another faggot with him,” his neighbor had said in the village shop. The insults were a nasty surprise because before no one knew of his homosexuality. After this, he and his friend were abused, threatened, and beaten up. Giersza also lost his job. Judge Urszula Chmielewska explained the high fine saying the neighbor “should really feel the punishment.”

Next to paying the fine the neighbor should also really change her behavior, the judge said. The neighbor also has to pay for the trial costs of about a thousand euros. The unemployed neighbor stated that all witnesses lied during the court case, she doesn’t feel guilty and announced she was going to appeal.
“I’m very happy,” said Giersza yesterday after the ruling was made public, with tears in his eyes. “I’m a normal person and I just want to live quietly with my partner. The last six months have ruined us. I’m very happy we started this trial, it was worth it. I hope it will be an example for others.”

The Polish gay activist Robert Biedron was relieved that the judge didn’t treat Giersza as a ‘second rate citizen’. “If a judge doesn’t do that, perhaps society will stop doing that too.”



In the New Issue of Gay News, 323, July 2018

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