The European Court of Human Rights has unanimously ruled that a ban on a Gay Pride march in Warsaw in 2005 was illegal and discriminatory.

The Court – which is based in Strasbourg – decided that by not allowing the Pride march the Polish state breached three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights:

Article 11 (freedom of association and assembly); Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) and; Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination).

Gay rights organisation ILGA-Europe has welcomed the decision, noting that this is the first case in which a banned LGBT Pride march has been challenged in Strasbourg.

The organisation’s Executive Director Patricia Prendiville said that, “We are pleased that the Court firmly and unanimously confirmed that the freedom of assembly and expression belongs to all. We hope that this decision of the European Court of Human Rights will put a final stop to the outrageous violations of the right to peaceful demonstration by LGBT people which we witnessed during the last few years in some European cities.”

In 2005, Mayor Lech Kaczynski, who has since been elected as President of Poland, refused to allow a Gay Pride event to take place in Warsaw.

The Polish government recently came under fire after the deputy minister of education suggested new legislation that would “punish anyone who promotes homosexuality” in schools and education establishments with dismissal, fines or prison terms.

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