It is with our deepest regrets to inform that yesterday President Andrzej Duda vetoed the Gender Accordance Act and denied trans people in Poland their human rights, treating them as second-class citizens.
With his disregard for trans people's right to self-determination and right to life according to one's gender identity, Mr. Duda not only ignored Article 30 and 32 of the Polish Consitution, which agree that every citizen is born with an inherent and inalienable dignity as well as indicated that everyone is equalbefore the law, he also disregarded recommendations coming from the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights decisions. The Gender Accordance Act was supposed to be Poland's first step for easier, transparent and accessible gender recognition.
President Andrzej Duda also ignored legal experts, the Human Rights Defender's statement, calls coming from Polish and international non-governmental human rights organizations, as well as a call coming from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.
“I still can't believe that this has happened” says Lalka Podobińska, Trans-Fuzja's Vice-President. “I wanted to believe that since Mr. Duda's presidential campaign claimed he was supposed to be 'the President of all Poles', he would ultimately understand that this Act does not harm the majority, but rather helps a small minority, which definitely needs a new law. I wanted to believe that his intentions were to help those who actually need it. For me, the President failed his humanity test. He denied trans people life in accordance with their gender identity”.
Wiktor Dynarski, Trans-Fuzja's President, adds: “This Act is Poland's first legislation which frames gender recognition in a clear and defined procedure, safeguarding people's privacy and dignity. We are disappointed with the President's disregard for human rights, especially given the fact that this act does not create anything new in the Polish legal system, bur rather organizes what was clearly a huge procedural mess. Claiming that this Act does not require a person to prove their gender identity, as stated in the presidential explanation for the veto, is entirely false as the Act clearly states that a person needs to have their identity confirmed by two experts. The presidential explanation also claims that the GAA will establish a precedence in which 'two people of the same biological sex will be able to marry and adopt children', which is an absurd argument, given the fact that the law does not change anything in that regard and that trans people can marry their spouses and adopt children already. This argumentation is a clear sign of the President's entirely anti-LGBTI agenda”.
We are extremely disappointed that the President decided to veto the Act, as it was supposed to ensure that trans people have a right to a dignified gender recognition process in which their human rights are respected. It is very sad that even though we were able to manage the Parliament's opposition in both the lower chamber and the Senate, in the end we were defeated by a lack of empathy from the President. We are now positive that for Mr. Andrzej Duda the very idea of human rights is not one to accept. He has clearly shown that trans people's lives do not matter to him and contrary to his campaign statements, he is not the President of all Poles.
To reach Trans-Fuzja Foundation for comments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +48 609 585 095 [mobile] / +48 22 658 18 02 [office]