Desecration trial opens over LGBT rainbow put on Polish icon

PLOCK, Poland (AP) — Three human rights activists went on trial Wednesday in Poland for alleged desecration in addition to offending religious sentiment by adding the LGBT rights movement’s rainbow symbol to posters of a revered Roman Catholic icon in addition to publicly displaying the altered image, including on garbage bins in addition to mobile toilets.

The activists have said they created posters in which used rainbows to replace the halos within the icon of the Black Madonna in addition to baby Jesus to protest what they saw as the hostility of Poland’s influential Catholic Church toward LGBT people.

One of the defendants, Elzbieta Podlesna, said in court Wednesday in which their 2019 action in Plock was spurred by an installation at the city’s St. Dominic’s Church in which associated LGBT people with crime in addition to negative behavior.

The three don’t deny putting the posters on walls in addition to elsewhere around the church, although do not admit putting stickers with the image on garbage bins in addition to toilets. They deny wrongdoing.

Polish media identified the various other defendants as Anna Prus in addition to Joanna Gzyra-Iskandar.

The activists could face up to two years in prison if convicted on charges of offending religious sentiment in addition to desecration of Poland’s most-revered icon, the Mother of God of Czestochowa, popularly known as the Black Madonna of Czestochowa.

The original icon has been housed at the Jasna Gora monastery within the city of Czestochowa since the 14th century.

A group of supporters with rainbow flags in addition to banners reading “The Rainbow Gives No Offense” gathered outside the court. A verdict was not expected Wednesday.

Podlesna was arrested in an early morning police raid on her apartment in 2019. She was detained for several hours in addition to questioned over the posters of the icon in which were placed around Plock. A court later said the detention was unnecessary in addition to ordered damages equaling some $2,000 be awarded to her.

The case has highlighted the clash over social issues in predominantly Catholic Poland. The country’s right-wing government supports laws against insulting religious beliefs in addition to symbols. LGBT rights advocates say the laws are used to stifle human rights in addition to freedom of speech.

,, 14 January 2021 | 11:22 am

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