An IKEA manager in Poland could face a fine or even jail after firing a worker who said that homosexuals deserve to die.
The Catholic worker made the comments on the company’s intranet in response to an IKEA event supporting the LGBT+ community last year.
The worker, Tomasz K, allegedly used the Bible to try to justify the remarks, which included calling homosexuality an ‘abomination’. Moreover, he refused to remove the comments.
Now a Warsaw prosecutor has charged the manager who allegedly fired him with violating the employee’s religious rights.
‘I cannot censor God’
The case dates back to May last year when the employee objected to IKEA organizing solidarity days for LGBT+ people in Poland.
At the time IKEA said it sacked Tomasz K for ‘using quotes from the Old Testament about death and blood in the context of what fate should meet homosexual people’.
It said it took action because he expressed ‘his opinion in a way that could affect the rights and dignity of LGBT+ people.’
But unhappy with his termination, Tomasz hired a lawyer and plans to sue Ikea.
He said: ‘As a Catholic, I cannot censor God
‘I’ve been hired to sell furniture but I’m a Catholic and these aren’t my values.
‘[I] quoted two quotations from the Holy Scriptures: about stumbling and about the fact that the cohabitation between two men is an abomination.’
Another employee also quit in solidarity with him.
Meanwhile Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro also intervened. He said the case was ‘legal and economic violence against those who do not share the values of homosexual activists.’
Moreover a group of Polish Catholic bishops defended him for his ‘courage’ in defending the faith in an ‘exemplary’ way.
IKEA supporting HR manager
The human resources manager could face a fine or up to two years in prison.
In a statement IKEA said: ‘As an employer, we will provide all the help and support to our charged co-worker.’
IKEA is also facing a civil lawsuit by the employee for wrongful dismissal.
It comes at a time when Poland’s LGBT+ community is facing a major backlash.
The ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) have stirred up hate against the LGBT+ community for political gain. They made LGBT+ issues a key battleground at 2019’s European elections and October’s general election.
Meanwhile around 100 municipalities and five voivodships or provinces, the largest administrative unit in Poland, had declared themselves ‘LGBT-Free Zones’ since last year. Together they cover a third of the country and make up an area around the size of Hungary.
Moreover, Poland is considering an anti-LGBT+ Stop Pedophilia law.