At the same time, another court fined a metal singer for trampling an icon of the Mother of God.
Warsaw, March 5, 2021
Photo: squarespace.com The three Polish women who were on trial for offending religious beliefs by profaning the highly-revered Mother of God of Częstochowa Icon, known as the Black Madonna Icon, were acquitted earlier this week.
The women produced and distributed posters of the icon with the halos of Christ and the Most-Holy Theotokos filled in with the LGBT rainbow in the city of Plock in 2019. The provocation was meant as a protest against a traditional Easter display that listed LGBT among the sins to be battled against, along with greed, hate, envy, and others.
The trial, which began on January 13, ended Tuesday with the court seeing no evidence of a crime, concluding that the activists had no intention of offending anyone’s religious sensibilities. Instead, they sought to defend those facing discrimination, the court decided, reports the AP.
It seems the women are out of touch with the religious beliefs of the population of the largely-Catholic nation. “I still wonder how the rainbow—a symbol of diversity and tolerance—offends these feelings. I cannot understand it, especially since I am a believer,” one of the defendants Elżbieta Podleśna remarked.
Podleśna and the other two wome, Anna Prus, and Joanna Gzyra-Iskandar Podleśna, had faced up to 2 years in prison if found guilty. The Life and Family Foundation, which brought the case, plans to appeal.
“Defending the honor of the Mother of God is the responsibility of each of us, and the guilt of the accused is indisputable,” the group’s founder, Kaja Godek, said. “The courts of the Republic of Poland should protect (Catholics) from violence, including by LGBT activists.”
Conversely, LGBT groups welcomed the ruling. “This is a triumph for the LGBT+ resistance movement in the most homophobic country of the European Union,” said the Love Does Not Exclude rights group.
The trial was seen as a free speech test case under a government that positions itself as strongly in favor of traditional values. In June, President Andrzej Duda vowed to ban LGBT teaching in schools, saying LGBT ideology is worse than communism. In January, the government implemented an earlier decision of the constitutional court that bans 98% of all abortions in the nation.
A Polish court also recently fined Adam Darski, the frontman of the metal band Behemoth, for publishing a photo of himself trampling upon an icon of the Mother of God. He will have to pay about $4,700 (18,000 Polish złoty) for insulting religious sensibilities, reports Ukrinform.
Darski has been repeatedly sued for insulting religious sensibilities, including by destroying a Bible onstage, publicly burning crosses, and defiling the image of the crucified Christ.