[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] Thursday ruled [DOC text; press release] that Poland [JURIST news archive] violated the rights of a group of gay rights activists by refusing to authorize a 2005 rally in Warsaw. The Polish government rejected the group's application to hold a march because the group did not present a plan to alleviate traffic congestion. The march took place anyway [JURIST report], but the ECHR held that the ban still violated the organizers' rights to freedom of assembly. The court also found that the ban was discriminatory as other groups that held rallies the same day were not asked to submit any traffic plan. A second gay rights rally was banned [JURIST report] in November 2005 in the Polish city of Poznan.
Poland's governing Law and Justice Party [party website, in Polish] positions itself as a champion of Roman Catholic values, and Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski [official profile] recently said that it was "not in the interest of any society to increase the number of homosexuals." Earlier this year Poland's Deputy Education Minister Miroslaw Orzechowski [official profile] announced he would propose legislation to have teachers found to be promoting "homosexual culture" in Polish schools fired, prompting the European Parliament to announce it would launch an investigation into whether Poland was violating any EU anti-discrimination laws. AP has more.