Treatment of gays and lesbians [POL29628.E]

Current information on the treatment of gays and lesbians in Poland among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate is limited. Response to Information Request POL23859.E of 7 June 1996 and its attachments, available in Regional Documentation Centres, provides information on the general situation of gays and lesbians in Poland.

The attached issues of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) report on the Polish gay movement in 1996, on the creation of a national lesbian archive in Lodz, the second largest city of Poland (Jul.-Aug.-Sept. 1996) and on the gay and lesbian situation with regard to marriage under the new Polish constitution (Apr.-May-June 1997). A 1997 Action Alert published by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) reports that "despite attempts by both national and international activists to insure the retention of an early draft of the human rights clause, the newly adopted Polish constitution does not include sexual orientation as one of the grounds for non-discrimination." The document also reports that "the new constitution gives another blow to the rights of gays and lesbians in Poland by defining marriage in Article 18 as a relationship between a man and a woman" (ibid.)

Gay State of The World 1997, ranks Poland in the category of states where homosexuals relations are legal. However, Poland is not mentioned in the list of countries providing equal treatment measures for lesbians and gay men including nation-wide legislation which bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the recognition of common-law same-gender relationships, the granting of residence permits to same-sex partners and the possibility for homosexuals to serve in the army.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Gay State of The World 1997. 1997. [Internet] (Accessed 29 June 1998)

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). 1997. Vol. 6, No. 3. "Polish Constitution Does Not Include Sexual Orientation," n.p.


ILGA Bulletin. No.2. April-May-June 1997. "Polish Constitution," p. 12

_____.No. 3. July-August-September 1996. "The Polish Gay Movement 1996," pp. 15-16.

_____. No. 3. July-August-September 1996. "National Lesbian Archives Established in Poland," p. 18.

Additional Sources Consulted

Electronic Sources: Research Directorate databases, Global NewsBank, Lexis/Nexis, REFWORLD, World News Connection (WNC).