Today, two Parliamentary Committees, the Committee for Health and the Committee for Justice and Human Rights, which were supposed to report their position to the Parliamentary Assembly and advise either to vote down or uphold the recent presidential veto, were not able to reach an agreement before the last voting schedule. The Committees were unable to choose a rapporteur for their decision and hence a vote could not have taken place and the veto was therefore upheld. Polish Parliament ended its term today and elections are scheduled for October 25th.
Our organization is unable to describe how disappointed and appalled we all are. Although the government has numerously declared that it was determined to change the current situation of trans people in Poland, it was political gain which came first and not human rights.
Poland has, yet again, ignored recommendations coming from the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice rulings and has clearly shown that it is not interested in respecting trans people's rights and ensuring that they have a quick, transparent and accessible possibility to change their name and legal gender in all official documentation.
“The whole world was watching as Poland had a chance to become one of the countries were basic human rights of trans people are respected. Saying 'no' to the Gender Accordance Act is a greatly missed opportunity” says Lalka Podobińska, Vice-President and co-funder of Trans-Fuzja Foundation.
Wiktor Dynarski, Trans-Fuzja's President adds: “It seems that the Gender Accordance Act became a tool in political and ideological fight, which in the end targeted trans people interests most. The Act was supposed to clearly define and improve their already problematic legal situation. It wasn't neither a controversial nor dangerous act. It didn't bring anything new to the Polish legal system. It didn't even bring the concept of gender recognition to Poland since this procedure has been available since late 1960s. It was simply meant to create a clear ground and easier access to gender recognition”
Upholding the veto also meant wasting more than three years of intensive work of parliamentary sub-committees, committees, transgender rights experts and experts coming from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice who worked together to create a common understanding of how gender recognition should look like in Poland. All of them worked to ensure that trans people have their dignity and privacy respected.
Not passing the new law also means that trans people will still have to sue their parents in court to be able to gain legal recognition. They will still be in danger of facing a judge who has no understainding of transgender issues. They will still not be able to receive updated certificates of employment and diplomas without outing themselves as transgender.
Trans-Fuzja Foundation expresses it's deepest regrets and states that regardless of future political forces and agendas, it will not stop to work for trans equality in Poland and for trans people's right to self-determination. We believe that in a truly free country, everybody has the right to be themselves.
Tuż po zebraniu komisji udało się nam jeszcze pokazać, że są osoby, dla których ustawa jest ważna.Nasz banner zostaw chwilę później zarekwirowany przez straż sejmową.Posted by Fundacja Trans-Fuzja on Friday, October 9, 2015