The hearing in the first trial against the creator of the “LGBT-Free Zones” disinformation campaign is behind us.
THERE ARE NO “LGBT-FREE ZONES” IN POLAND
The first trial against the creator of the “LGBT-Free Zones” disinformation campaign, Bart Staszewski, began today. It is noteworthy that this is the first of the lawsuits brought in this case.
In addition to the Tuszów Narodowy commune, which took action against Staszewski in court today, Polish League Against Defamation also supports the Zakrzówek and Niebylec commune in their fight against Bart Staszewski’s untruthful “campaign.”
A closed-door preliminary hearing was held with the participation of the parties during today’s (08/03/21) trial in the Regional Court in Tarnobrzeg.
During the hearing (defendant Bart Staszewski was absent), the court gave the parties’ attorneys 21 days to designate a mediator for the case. If the mediator is not presented by the parties, the court will appoint one. Court proceedings will be initiated If no agreement is reached with the mediator.
As we have already reported, Bart Staszewski is the creator behind the disinformation campaign that involved placing fake “LGBT-Free Zone” road signs under authentic road signs with the names of towns where the local governments have adopted pro-family declarations. The campaign, organized and implemented by Bart Staszewski, has a negative impact on the image of the communes and their residents as it indicates discrimination against a certain group due to their sexual preferences.
One of the communes that became a victim of Bart Staszewski’s disinformation campaign is Tuszów Narodowy.
It should also be emphasised here that the Regional Court in Rzeszów ordered Bart Staszewski to place information on his website and Facebook profile that he is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the Niebylec commune (supported by the League). Bart Staszewski in his social media statements initially denied having received such an order, and then posted the information with an error, and after another reminder from us, posted the correct information. So there is no question of his “win” when a few months ago he boasted when the same Regional Court in Rzeszów rejected our motion requesting security for claims. As it turns out, the League’s strategy of persistent pursuit of the goal is effective.
On March 29, 2019, the councillors of the Tuszów Narodowy commune adopted the “position of the Tuszów Narodowy commune council on stopping the LGBT ideology”, in which they express their attachment to traditional values and the will to raise children in accordance with the will of their parents, without the influence of political correctness. The authorities of the Tuszów commune strongly emphasize that with the adopted position, there is no question of any discrimination against anyone, or exclusion of anyone from a community.
On July 29, 2020, Bart Staszewski posted, on his social media profiles, a photo of a road sign with the name of the town of Tuszów Narodowy with a sign underneath it that looks deceptively like official signs with the multilingual phrase “LGBT-Free Zone.” Such a photo also appeared on the website administrated by Staszewski – lgbtfreezones.pl
The publication of the photo reverberated through the Internet and traditional media.
“Words of condemnation started pouring into the commune through all news channels, questions about how we can discriminate against people, why we are racist, etc. There were a lot of hateful emails, phone calls, not only expressing condemnation for the fact that we are supposedly an ‘LGBT-Free Zone’, but also outright hatred directed at me, the authorities and the residents of the commune.” – the Tuszów Narodowy Commune Head, Andrzej Głaz, informed.
In a lawsuit supported by the Polish League Against Defamation, the Tuszów Narodowy commune demands that Bart Staszewski apologize and publish a correction in all media in which he published information claiming that Tuszów Narodowy is an “LGBT-Free Zone.”
An extremely important issue related to the campaign led by Bart Staszewski is that this
deceptive campaign involving the placement of signs with the words “LGBT-Free Zone” proves how easy it is to spread misinformation, which is then accepted by the public as fact. The vast majority of recipients will not take the trouble to check whether the information presented is true.
They believe beforehand that “LGBT-Free Zones” exist. Furthermore, when people in countries, such as France, England, or Belgium, see a sign that says “LGBT-Free Zone,” they associate it with the colonial experience of those countries or, in the case of the United States, with racial segregation. The Staszewski’s campaign simply depicts Poland as an apartheid country, which is not and cannot be accepted.
There are no “LGBT-Free Zones” in Poland, and the pursuit of the truth in court by the defamed local governments is an uphill task, but it gives the opportunity to counter the false information spread by Bart Staszewski that damages the reputation of the communes.
We hope that the outcome of the court proceedings will be favourable for the Tuszów Narodowy commune.
The League provides legal assistance also to other Polish local governments where Bart Staszewski conducted his “campaigns.” These are the Zakrzówek and Niebylec communes.
As we reported in February this year, the Regional Court in Rzeszów issued a decision and acknowledged that the Niebylec commune is entitled to security and ordered the defendant Bartosz Staszewski to place an appropriate statement on his website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles during the trial for infringement of moral rights. According to the court decision, the statement is to be published so that a person accessing the aforementioned websites will immediately see it.
After a long time, we lived to see Bart Staszewski comply with the court’s ruling. The creator of the “LGBT-Free Zones” disinformation campaign posted the court-indicated statement on the said websites and social media.
The posted statement:
“In connection with the content placed on this website concerning the Niebylec Commune, proceedings are pending against Bartosz Staszewski for the protection of personal rights before the Regional Court in Rzeszów.”
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