Court: Virgin Mary in rainbow halo not offensive to religious feelings
Rainbow is not offensive, the District Court in Płock said and upheld a not guilty sentence for three activists accused of insulting religious feelings. In 2019, the three women posted images around the St. Dominic Church in Płock showing Virgin Mary in a rainbow halo. This way they wanted to stand up for the rights of LGBTQIA people in Poland. "Full marks for this verdict, we're innocent," said Elżbieta Podleśna, one of the activists.
The verdict passed by the District Court in Płock in an appeal case is legally binding - the only way to complain against now is to file a cassation request to the Supreme Court.
"Full marks for this verdict, we're innocent and have felt this way since the beginning. There were no features of offending religious feelings here," Podleśna said. "We should discuss the purpose of this paragraph. I think a debate is ahead of us, as it's clear how it is used, or rather abused as whip for people who in some ways don't fit in the clerical perception of reality as the one and only righteous one," the activist added.
During the appeal session, the former parson said it had been the activists' intention to "distort the image of Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland, with six colours which are commonly known as a symbol of disorders, deviations and aberrations". "It was meant to deeply harm those who cherish the Mother of God," he added.
The not guilty sentence for Elżbieta Podleśna, Anna P. and Joanna G. was passed by a Regional Court in Płock (a court of first instance) in March 2021. They were accused of insulting religious feelings. After the first instance verdict, the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Płock, as well as auxiliary prosecutors, including St. Dominic Church parson, and pro-life activist Kaja Godek.
The case pertained to the events that took place at night on April 26/27, 2019, when the three women posted stickers around the St. Dominic Church in Płock showing Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus with rainbow halos around their heads. The stickers were found at a waste bin and a portable toilet, among other places.
The trial of the three activists began at the Regional Court in Płock on January 13, 2021 - two courtroom sessions were held and the verdict was passed on March 2. The court of the first instance argued, among other things, that it had not been the defendant's intention to offend anyone.
At the time, the defence called for full acquittal. The prosecution wanted six months of restricted liberty in the form 30 hours of unpaid community work monthly.
The latter bid was additionally supported by the representative of an auxiliary prosecutor, pro-life activist Kaja Godek. Represenative of another auxiliary prosecutor, the former parson at the parish where stickers had been posted, called for 18 months of community work.
During Wednesday court session, the defence called for the not guilty senctence be sustained, while the prosecution demanded the verdict of the first instance court be overruled and the case be examined once again.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Facebook.com/Elżbieta Podleśna