Polish President vetoes gender recognition bill

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Last Friday, Polish President Andrzej Duda, vetoed the Gender Accordance Act.

Polish flagThe bill was hailed as the country’s first gender recognition legislation in history. It would have foreseen that gender recognition could proceed to any unmarried Polish citizen, who had received two independent expert opinions.

This would have brought the gender recognition procedures in line with the Council of Europe standards. These standards, agreed by all Member States, including Poland, demand that abusive requirements, e.g. compulsory sterilisation or medical intervention, are removed, and that change of name and gender in official documents is easily accessible to trans people (see paragraphs 20 and 21 of Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5).

The bill had previously been approved by the Polish Parliament (Sejm) by a large majority (252 for, 158 against, 11 abstentions).

The Sejm can only overturn the veto with a 3/5 majority.

Sirpa Pietikainen MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “We are extremely shocked and disappointed by the President’s decision to veto the bill.”

“His veto demonstrates his unwillingness to recognise trans people, and showing his disrespect for human rights as a whole.”

Ian Duncan MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “It is disappointing that a bill which has been so carefully prepared by Parliamentarians and civil society over the last three years,¬†and received such wide support in Parliament, has been vetoed.”

“I hope that the parliament can secure another opportunity to consider this bill in the near future.”

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