Trial of women accused of insulting religious feelings of others starts

Three women have gone on trial for insulting religious feelings by producing and distributing stickers of the Virgin Mary with the LGBT rainbow added to her halo.

The women used an image of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, one of Poland’s most venerated Catholic icons, for the stickers, which were placed around St. Dominic's Church in the central town of Płock on the night of April 26-27, 2019.

The stickers also appeared on rubbish bins and on portable toilets.

If found guilty the women face the possibility of a fine or up to two years behind bars.

Indictments from the District Prosecutor's Office against Elżbieta P., Anna P. and Joanna G. (full names are concealed under Polish law) were made in June 2020.

The trial had been scheduled to begin on November 4, 2020, but was cancelled due to the absence of one of the defendants on health grounds.

"God forbid, I will not admit to offending religious feelings,” Eżbieta P., one of the accused, told reporters before the start of the trial in Płock on Wednesday. “I do not feel that the rainbow offends anyone or anything. I did not commit a crime."

A group of a dozen or so people under the slogan "The Rainbow does not offend" gathered in front of the Plock District Court before Wednesday's hearing to show support for the accused.