Anger as Polish judge identifies 10-year-old transgender girl in tweet

Mayor of child’s town attacks ‘cynical political games’

Liam James
Thursday 08 April 2021 16:28 BST
Justice Krystyna Pawlowicz may face an investigation over tweet
Justice Krystyna Pawlowicz may face an investigation over tweet

Poland's leading opposition party is asking prosecutors to investigate a constitutional court judge who identified a trans child publicly.

The Civic Platform alleges justice Krystyna Pawlowicz endangered the 10-year-old by publishing her name and school address in a tweet.

It is the latest episode to highlight the deep divide in Poland over LGBT+ rights. Those calling for greater acceptance and freedom for LGBT+ people have for the past two years been locked in a bitter standoff against conservatives in the mostly Roman Catholic nation.

The focus has mainly been on adult matters such as marriage and adoption rights, but Ms Palowicz's tweet has brought attention to the difficulties faced by young LGBT+ Poles, in this instance a trans girl.

Ms Pawlowicz, a justice on the Constitutional Tribunal, wrote critically on Twitter about the case of a school director in the town of Podkowa Lesna, near Warsaw, who had instructed teachers to respect the wishes of the child to be addressed as a girl.

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In her tweet on Tuesday, Ms Pawlowicz expressed strong disapproval at the school's decision, arguing that it disregarded the official sex designation on the child's records.

Ms Pawlowicz called her a "boy" and mentioned the name she goes by now, the names of the school and the principal, as well as the school's address.

Cezary Tomczyk, leader of the centre-right Civic Platform party's parliamentary group, accused Ms Pawlowicz on Thursday of putting the child "in real danger".

Mr Tomczyk said the party was submitting a request for prosecutors to investigate.

A phone call and email to the Constitutional Tribunal seeking comment on Thursday were not answered.

Ms Pawlowicz later said on Twitter she had realised the case was "much more complicated" than she had been informed of, apologised and deleted the identifying tweet.

Ms Pawlowicz, formerly a member of the country’s parliament for the ruling Law and Justice party, who is known for her strongly conservative views. She was appointed to the Constitutional Tribunal in 2019.

The mayor of the town where the girl attends school, Artur Tusinski, published a statement saying there has been an "enormous" outpouring of support for her and that the school is "open to the needs of every student, including transgender students".

"We do not agree to the cynical use of children in political games," Mr Tusinski said.

Poland's anti-LGBT political leaders have rallied support among their conservative base by positioning themselves as defenders of children and so-called traditional family values.

In last year's election, president Andrzej Duda claimed he would "protect children" from so-called "LGBT ideology" and campaigned on a "Family Charter", in which he pledged to ban the teaching of LGBT issues in schools.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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