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The registration of same-sex marriage is unacceptable

  • Février 2018

Naczelny Sąd Administracyjny (The Supreme Administrative Court, February 28, 2018) has accepted the position of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office, and dismissed the cassation complaint of two women who married abroad and wanted to have their same-sex marriage recognized under Polish law.

In this case, the Director of the Civil Registry Office refused to register their marital status by way of transcription of the foreign marriage certificate of the two women. The Pomeranian voivode upheld the decision of the Director of the Civil Registry Office.

The women appealed to the Provincial Administrative Court in Gdańsk (Wojewódzki Sąd Administracyjny w Gdańsku) against the refusal of the Pomeranian voivode to enter into the civil registry the marital status of a same-sex marriage certificate drawn up abroad. The Court decided that the decision issued by the voivode is in line with Polish law.

While the case was pending in the Supreme Administrative Court, as a result of a cassation complaint filed by the women, the General Prosecutor issued recommendations in which he reminded all prosecutors that “enter in the Polish civil registry documents a marriage certificate drawn up abroad, and concluded by persons of the same sex, is unacceptable.”

According to the position presented by the National Prosecutor’s Office, the Supreme Administrative Court dismissed the cassation appeal of the women (judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court of 28 February 2018, II OSK 1112/16).

The Supreme Administrative Court unambiguously confirmed the position of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office that registering a "marriage" concluded by persons of the same sex is unacceptable in Poland, although the marriage of same-sex couples is allowed by law in more than a dozen European countries. In consequence, the Supreme Administrative Court dismissed the cassation complaint of two women, who had married outside the country and wanted their same-sex marriage recognised under Polish law. The main argument used by the Court at the ruling was that the Constitution of the Republic of Poland clearly defined "marriage as a union of man and woman" (art. 18).

See also "The legal and sociological situation of same-sex marriage in Poland".

20 March 2018