Thaddeus Baklinski

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European convention defining gender as social construct condemned as “rape” of Polish society

Thaddeus Baklinski
Thaddeus Baklinski
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WARSAW, July 19, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Poland’s Bishops’ Conference and numerous pro-life and pro-family groups have denounced a Council of Europe convention that purports to address violence against women but has been criticized as an ideological attack on religion, tradition and culture. The organizations are urging the Polish government not to ratify the convention.

“The Presidium of the Polish Episcopal Conference notes with great concern the announcement of the Prime Minister that the Polish government will sign without reservation the proposed Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. This is in contradiction to the earlier announcement of the Prime Minister, that a public debate is needed on the Convention and the consequences of its signature and ratification,” the Polish bishops said in a statement issued last week.

The convention redefines gender as a social construct, rather than as a distinction grounded in biology, and suggests violence towards women is systemic with roots in religion and culture.

According to the “Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence” which was publicized in April, 2011, gender “shall mean the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men.”

This new “social construct” definition is at odds with the definition in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court - which this new convention cites.  The Rome Statute states that, “For the purposes of this Statute, it is understood that the term “gender” refers to the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society. The term ‘gender’ does not indicate any meaning different from the above.”

“The Polish Episcopal Conference supports the protection of women against violence, but does not agree with the ideological assumptions of the Council of Europe Convention,” the Polish bishops declared.

“It should be emphasized that the Convention, although it is devoted to the major issue of violence against women, is built on ideological and false assumptions that are in no way acceptable. It suggests that violence against women is systemic, and its source is religion, tradition and culture,” the bishops wrote, noting that Article 12 of the convention obliges signatories to “dismiss the achievements of civilization,” which are considered “as a threat and a source of violence.”

“A particular concern,” the bishops continued, “is the imposition of the signatories’ obligation to education (in Article 14) and promotion of “non-stereotypical gender roles,” meaning, therefore, homosexuality and transsexualism. Linking the legitimate principle of preventing violence with a dangerous attempt to interfere with the educational system, and the moral values professed by millions of parents in Poland, is a very worrying sign.”

The bishops also point out that Polish legislation already has sufficient tools to deal with violence, including violence against women, and that the government should focus on initiatives to “strengthen the role of families, improve health care for women and girls, support the professional education of women, to pursue educational programs, based on mutual respect and cooperation of both sexes, including the preparation for life in the family.”

“Undertaking such measures,” the bishops concluded, “rather than signing the controversial Convention, it can actually prevent and help combat all violence, even that against women.”

Pro-family groups in Poland have issued numerous statements calling on the government not to ratify the convention.

A spokeswoman for the right wing “Solidarity Poland” party, Marzena Wróbel, issued a statement saying, “The convention of the Council of Europe, which PM Donald Tusk and the Civic Platform party want to ratify, is yet another attack on family and its values.”

Wróbel equated the convention with the promotion of homosexuality and transsexuality, saying it makes the definition of manhood and womanhood relative and independent of biological facts.

“In the light of this convention, every person who wants to be a woman, can be a woman. This is against reality,” Wróbel stated.

She also pointed to Article 12 of the convention, which says that culture, heritage, religion, tradition or “so called honor” must not be “used as justification of any acts of violence as defined by this convention.”

“Poland’s tradition has always been that violence against women is unacceptable and, in accordance with our culture, a woman is always given special respect. Poland was, after all, one of the first countries in the world to give women the right to vote,” Wróbel said.

In an open letter to the government, the authorities of Centrum Służby by Rodzinie (Center for Service to the Family), an organization based in the city of Łódź that helps families and victims of domestic violence, and runs Poland’s largest non-state-funded home for single mothers, said, “The Convention would introduce into the Polish law a definition of sex based on the ideology of “gender”. The Convention has a characteristic pejorative attitude to culture, tradition and the heritage of nations. It seems that the authors of the convention must have realized that it would raise controversy.”

“Sadly, the Convention in its present form seems to be a social and political manifesto, and not an instrument for the protection of victims of violence. In this document, women have become a tool of hidden interests, once again they have been objectified and abused. Let us not connect the protection of abused women with the need to adopt the gender doctrine, or any other ideology.”

Mariusz Dzierżawski, founder of the Warsaw-based PRO foundation and one of Poland’s most prominent and active pro-life leaders, told LifeSiteNews he believes the Polish prime minister is being pressured by radical feminists to sign the convention.

“The feminists are pushing for a quick ratification of the convention by Poland. The Prime Minister is yielding to the pressure,” Dzierżawskii said.

“The convention itself contains articles suggesting that it is the traditional view on family and gender issues that actually causes violence against women. So, there are reasons to suspect that the convention will be used as a tool to deconstruct family and destroy moral norms.”

“The convention’s advocates are using moral blackmail,” Dzierżawski observed, “implying that if you are against the convention, then you must approve of violence against women. They can’t see (or maybe they just pretend no to see) that it’s the family and moral norms that really protect the dignity of women. A hundred years ago a similar kind of project was implemented in Bolshevik Russia. I haven’t heard about women being too happy about it.”

Joanna Najfeld, a Polish journalist and pro-life commentator, noted the complicity of the liberal mainstream media in Poland in promotion of the convention that she labelled “ridiculous beyond belief.”

“Nobody in this country, or in any other sane, democratic society, would agree to it if it was being introduced through democratic channels, like a popular vote or a referendum,” Najfeld told LifeSiteNews.

“The mainstream liberal media silence, downplay, or manipulate the subject totally, so it can be ratified quietly by those in power in Poland now, and soon used against the Polish nation. The European Union uses the back door to impose these absurd, and extremely dangerous ideas on us.”

“We are a traditional nation,” Najfeld declared. “Traditional, meaning sane, rational and conservative.”

Comparing the imposition on Poland of the Council of Europe’s gender ideology to Communist oppression, Najfeld said, “the liberal ‘elites’ use lies, coercion, and supranational powers to perform yet another - excuse my strong language - rape on our society. Communism oppressed us and now European institutions are a new oppressor.

“What they are doing is abuse on our nation. We are like a beaten woman, abused by somebody stronger, in her own home,” Najfeld asserted.

Contact information:

Polish President Bronis?aw Komorowski
E-mail: via website

Prime Minister Donald Tusk
E-mail: kontakt@kprm.gov.pl

The Polish Conference of Bishops
E-mail: skep@episkopat.pl

The Parliamentary Committee for Social Policy and Family
Online form


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Quebec groups launch court challenge to euthanasia bill

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

As announced when the Quebec legislature adopted Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, the citizen movement Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, representing together over 650 physicians and 17,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in the District of Montreal on Thursday.

The lawsuit requests that the Court declare invalid all the provisions of the Act that deal with “medical aid in dying”, a term the groups say is a euphemism for euthanasia. This Act not only allows certain patients to demand that a physician provoke their death, but also grants physicians the right to cause the death of these patients by the administration of a lethal substance.

The two organizations are challenging the constitutionality of those provisions in the Act which are aimed at decriminalizing euthanasia under the euphemism “medical aid in dying”. Euthanasia constitutes a culpable homicide under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the organizations maintain that it is at the core of the exclusive federal legislative power in relation to criminal law and Quebec therefore does not have the power to adopt these provisions.

The organizations also say the impugned provisions unjustifiably infringe the rights to life and to security of patients guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They further infringe the right to the safeguard of the dignity of the person, which is also protected by the Quebec Charter.

In view of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to protect all vulnerable persons in Quebec, they are requesting an accelerated management of the case in order to obtain a judgment before the Act is expected to come into force on December 10, 2015.


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Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

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By LifeSiteNews staff

A Colorado cake artist who declined to use his creative talents to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Colorado Court of Appeals Wednesday.

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse all views, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

“Americans should not be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said the cake artist’s lead counsel Nicolle Martin, an attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. Just as Jack doesn’t create baked works of art for other events with which he disagrees, he doesn’t create cake art for same-sex ceremonies regardless of who walks in the door to place the order.”

“In America, we don’t force artists to create expression that is contrary to their convictions,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “A paint artist who identifies as homosexual shouldn’t be intimidated into creating a painting that celebrates one-man, one-woman marriage. A pro-life photographer shouldn’t be forced to work a pro-abortion rally. And Christian cake artists shouldn’t be punished for declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony or promote its message.”

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In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The case now goes to the Colorado Court of Appeals as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig.

“Jack, and other cake artists like him – such as those seen on TV shows like ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss’ – prepare unique creations that are inherently expressive,” Tedesco explained. “Jack invests many hours in the wedding cake creative process, which includes meeting the clients, designing and sketching the cake, and then baking, sculpting, and decorating it. The ACLU calls Jack a mere ‘retail service provider,’ but, in fact, he is an artist who uses his talents and abilities to create expression that the First Amendment fully protects."

Celebrity cake artists have written publicly about their art and the significant expressive work that goes into the artistic design process for wedding cakes.


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Prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner appeals her conviction

Tony Gosgnach
By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO -- As promised, Mary Wagner has, through her counsel Dr. Charles Lugosi, filed a formal notice of appeal on numerous points regarding her recent, almost two-year-long court case that ended on June 12.

Justice Fergus O’Donnell of the Ontario Court of Justice rejected every application made by the defence – including for access to abortion center records, public funding, standing for a constitutional challenge and for expert witnesses to be heard – before he found Wagner guilty and sentenced her to five months in jail on a charge of mischief and four months on four counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

He further levied two years of probation, with terms that she stay at least 100 metres away from any abortion site. However, because Wagner had spent a greater time in jail than the sentence, she was freed immediately. She had been arrested at the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site on Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto on August 15, 2012 after attempting to speak to abortion-bound women there. She then spent the duration of the trial in prison for refusing to sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion sites.

Wagner is using the matter as a test case to challenge the current definition of a human being in Canadian law – that is, that a human being is legally recognized as such only after he or she has fully emerged from the birth canal in a breathing state.

Wagner’s notice states the appeal is regarding:

  • Her conviction and sentence on a single count of mischief (interference with property),
  • Her conviction and sentence on four counts of breach of probation,
  • The order denying public funding,
  • The order denying the disclosure of third-party records,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts on the applicant’s constitutional challenge concerning the constitutional validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts concerning the construction of Section 37 of the Criminal Code,
  • The probation order denying Wagner her constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion on all public sidewalks and public areas within 100 metres of places where abortions are committed,
  • And each conviction and sentence and all orders and rulings made by O’Donnell.

In the notice of appeal, Lugosi cites numerous points on which O’Donnell erred:

  • He denied Wagner her constitutional right to make full answer and defence.
  • He denied Wagner her right to rely on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which permits “everyone” to come to the third-party defence and rescue of any human being (in this case, the preborn) facing imminent assault.
  • He decided the factual basis of Wagner’s constitutional arguments was a waste of the court’s time and that no purpose would have been served by having an evidentiary hearing on her Charter application because, in the current state of Canadian law, it had no possibility of success.
  • He misapplied case law and prejudged the case, “giving rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and impeding the legal evolution of the law to adapt to new circumstances, knowledge and changed societal values and morals.”
  • He accepted the Crown’s submission that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts to question the jurisdiction of Parliament legally to define “human being” in any manner Parliament sees fit.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code is not beyond the powers of Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code does not violate the Preamble to, as well as Sections 7, 11(d), 15 and 26, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • He denied Wagner standing to raise a constitutional challenge to the validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code.
  • He ruled that Section 223 of the Criminal Code applied generally throughout the entire Criminal Code and used it to deny unborn human beings the benefit of equal protection as born human beings under Section 37 of the Criminal Code.
  • He denied the production and disclosure of third-party records in the possession of the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site, although the records were required to prove Wagner was justified in using reasonable force in the form of oral and written words to try to persuade pregnant mothers from killing their unborn children by abortion.
  • He denied Wagner the defence of Section 37 of the Criminal Code by ruling unborn children did not come within the scope of human beings eligible to be protected by a third party.
  • He ruled Wagner did not come within the scope of Section 37 because she was found to be non-violent (in that she did not use physical force).
  • He ruled the unborn children Wagner was trying to rescue were not under her protection.
  • He denied Wagner the common-law defences of necessity and the rescue of third parties in need of protection.
  • He denied Wagner public funding to make full answer and defence for a constitutional test case of great public importance and national significance.
  • He imposed an unconstitutional sentence upon Wagner by, in effect, imposing an injunction as a condition of probation, contrary to her constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

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Among the orders Lugosi is seeking are:

  • That an appeal be allowed against conviction on all counts and that a verdict of acquittal be entered on all counts,
  • That Section 223 of the Criminal Code be found unconstitutional  and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the unwritten constitution of Canada,
  • That the sentence be declared unconstitutional and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the unwritten constitution of Canada or that a new trial be conducted, with Wagner permitted to make full answer and defence, be given standing to make a constitutional attack on Section 223 of the Criminal Code, with the admission of expert witnesses,
  • That the Women’s Care Clinic abortion site be made to produce third-party records pertaining to patients seen on August 15, 2012 (when Wagner entered the site),
  • And that there be public funding for two defence counsels at any retrial and for any appeal related to the case.

No date has yet been established for a decision on the appeal or hearings.

A defence fund for Wagner’s case is still raising money. Details on how to contribute to it can be found here.


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