UK gay couple have a Ugandan classroom named after them

UK gay couple have a Ugandan classroom named after them March 3, 2016

UGANDAN tabloids are notorious for their lurid anti-gay headlines, such as the one above, but, so far, I have not seen one declaring ‘Godless Homos Have Classroom Named After Them’.
This, most likely, is because Ugandan gutter press hacks haven’t yet cottoned onto the fact that in Uganda’s northern Gulu region, an organisation called Humanist Empowerment of Livelihoods Uganda (HELU) is quietly beavering away to create a religion-free community in which children are given a secular education while their mothers learn valuable, life-changing trade skills.

According to an item in the latest issue of The Pink Humanist magazine, among HELU’s supporters is the UK’s only gay humanist charity, the Pink Triangle Trust, publishers of The Pink Humanist, and, by way of thanking the trust, HELU recently named one of its classrooms after veteran gay activists George Broadhead and his spouse, Roy Saich, a couple based in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, who have been together for 51 years. Broadhead is the PTT’s secretary.
According to its website, HELU is a Humanist community-based organisation established to promote Humanism as life stance, and where people are encouraged to shape their lives without depending on religion.
Agnes Ojera, HELU’s Programme Manager, is quoted as saying:

It requires a lot of resilience and courage to be a Humanist in Uganda.

Non-believers, she added, are up against:

Extreme religious and traditional practices accompanied by unfavourable Government policies.

In the past, the Pink Triangle Trust has helped fund the UK LGBT History Month, launched in 2005 in the wake of the abolition of Section 28 in 2003, and intended to raise awareness of, and combat prejudice against sexual minorities. The event takes place during February each year.
All was going well for the event organisers until some bright sparks hit on the idea of giving this year’s History Month a religious theme. What on earth were they thinking?
On Stonewall’s website I was horrified to read this message:

At Stonewall we’re proud to work with lots of inspirational LGBT people of faith in our work to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. We’ll profile role models and their stories throughout the month.

Equally horrified was the Pink Triangle Trust, and it withdrew funding from the 2016 event. When I ran a piece on the Freethinker website about History Month’s religious theme and the angry reaction to it by Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, Pink Triangle Trust trustee Diesel Balaam commented:

The Pink Triangle Trust normally helps to fund LGBT History Month, but pulled the plug this year in protest at the depressingly pro-religionist direction the organisation has taken. Instead, we donated the funds to an a Ugandan Humanist charity, which, among other humanitarian work, supports LGBT people who are being persecuted by religionists in that country.
Unfortunately, the leftists who control LGBT History Month are the usual contemptible Corbynistas who want to suck up to religionists of every stripe. I’m sure Terry Sanderson would endorse the PTT’s decision not to fund LGBT History Month this year and would also urge all freethinkers to support and donate to the PTT charity via its website and online magazine, The Pink Humanist.

Much of the Uganda’s homophobia is stoked by an organisation called The World Council of Families, which recently announced that its Next Big Thing is a three-day congress scheduled to take place in Tblisi, Georgia, in May and that:

Georgia’s revered religious leader – His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, Patriarch of the Georgia Orthodox Church, has blessed and will participate in the Congress.

Back in 2014, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation released its first report on the organisation, shedding light on the extremist group and how it helps spread bigotry across the globe as part of a dangerous far-right, anti-gay platform.
Said Ty Cobb, HRC Foundation’s Director of Global Engagement.

The World Congress of Families coordinates a dangerous group of activists spreading anti-LGBT rhetoric and promoting laws and policies that criminalize LGBT people and the speech of those who support them

They praise Vladimir Putin as the standard-bearer for traditional ‘family values’  … Their advocacy abroad harms LGBT people from Russia to Nigeria and beyond.  Hate is not an American value, and we must expose and work to stop the World Congress of Families and their extremist allies.

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  • Broga

    ” lots of inspirational LGBT people of faith “. There are a few words to give one pause. The “people of faith” description means what? What kind of faith? Faith in what? I think the words are intended to convey some kind of virtuous life which could mean anything.
    I think the “New Statesman” is increasingly veering, or at least shuffling, in the direction of religion. The trend is becoming more obvious and if it continues my subscription will not be renewed. I can do without hidden agendas in the magazine articles.

  • barriejohn

    Whenever a politician starts talking about “family values” you just know where they’re heading. And speaking of tabloid journalism, I see that the Daily Mail has got itself into deep water now:
    What a schoolboy error!

  • 1859

    That Ugandan tabloid headline is fucking disgusting – it’s inviting its readers to undertake a vigilante-style witch hunt of gay people. And this is exactly what’s happening in Malaysia – thugs cruising the streets to beat up anyone they decide is LGBT. These people are just using religion to justify sadistic blood lust – fuck – I wish there was a way of shovelling them off the edge of the flat earth they think they live on…

  • Newspaniard

    There is so much corruption in Uganda that the politicians have to re-direct the public gaze and what better way than to point at gays saying that the woes of Uganda is all their fault. It’s all kid’s playground stuff except that people get killed while the politicians get richer.

  • John

    There is also the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust who are doing excellent educational work in Uganda.
    They have recently started sending students on to university to study for degrees and are getting a well-deserved reputation for educational excellence in their schools.
    See for details of their activities and to make a donation to support their highly worthwhile work.