PLOCK, Poland (AP) — Three human rights activists went on trial Wednesday in Poland for alleged desecration and offending spiritual sentiment by including the LGBT rights motion’s rainbow image to posters of a revered Roman Catholic icon and publicly displaying the altered picture, together with on rubbish bins and cellular bathrooms.

The activists have mentioned they created posters that used rainbows to switch the halos within the icon of the Black Madonna and baby Jesus to protest what they noticed because the hostility of Poland’s influential Catholic Church towards LGBT individuals.

One of the defendants, Elzbieta Podlesna, mentioned in court docket Wednesday that their 2019 motion in Plock was spurred by an set up on the metropolis’s St. Dominic’s Church that related LGBT individuals with crime and adverse habits.

The three don’t deny placing the posters on partitions and elsewhere across the church, however don’t admit placing stickers with the picture on rubbish bins and bathrooms. They deny wrongdoing.

Polish media recognized the opposite defendants as Anna Prus and Joanna Gzyra-Iskandar.

The activists might withstand two years in jail if convicted on expenses of offending spiritual sentiment and desecration of Poland’s most-revered icon, the Mother of God of Czestochowa, popularly often known as the Black Madonna of Czestochowa.

The unique icon has been housed on the Jasna Gora monastery within the metropolis of Czestochowa because the 14th century.

A gaggle of supporters with rainbow flags and banners studying “The Rainbow Gives No Offense” gathered exterior the court docket. A verdict was not anticipated Wednesday.

Podlesna was arrested in an early morning police raid on her condo in 2019. She was detained for a number of hours and questioned over the posters of the icon that had been positioned round Plock. A court docket later mentioned the detention was pointless and ordered damages equaling some $2,000 be awarded to her.

The case has highlighted the conflict over social points in predominantly Catholic Poland. The nation’s right-wing authorities helps legal guidelines towards insulting spiritual beliefs and symbols. LGBT rights advocates say the legal guidelines are used to stifle human rights and freedom of speech.



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