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  • GoFundMe shut down a page raising money against schools for teaching LGBTQ-inclusive lessons in Birmingham, U.K.

    GoFundMe shut down a page raising money against schools for teaching LGBTQ-inclusive lessons in Birmingham, U.K. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 September 2019

The crowdfunding GoFundMe shut down a homophobic page raising money to protest against LGTBQ-inclusive lessons in U.K. schools.

The crowdfunding website GoFundMe said Tuesday that they have taken down a page launched in June to campaign against LGTBQ education inside schools in the United Kingdom.

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“We have removed this page as it violates our terms of service,” the website said. Humanists U.K. had demanded twice for the page to be taken down as they violate GoFundMe’s terms. 

According to the website, pages should not use the site for “campaigns we deem, in our sole discretion, to be in support of, or for the legal defence of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases.”

The page was set up by Shakeel Afsar for legal fees to fight a high-court injunction against people who were protesting near Anderton Park primary school in Birmingham. 

In May, half of the school’s pupils were withdrawn in a homophobic protest against the teaching of LGBTQ-inclusive material. The headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson said that protesters told other parents, “If you take your kids to school today, you’re not a Muslim and you’ll burn in hell.”

The protests were started at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham in March and soon spread to other schools. Even though it was started by Muslim parents, gradually conservative Christians and orthodox Jewish parents also joined them. 

In June, a judge ruled banning protests surrounding the Anderton Park primary school. Since then, the protestors launched a GoFundMe page so that they could pay legal fees to fight the injunction. According to the page, they raised US$11,714 (GBP 9,500) against a target of US$36,990 (CBP 30,000) before being shut down. 

"We're delighted GoFundMe has removed the page, though we regret that they did not do this until we resorted to the media, some two months after our first complaint to them. It's disappointing that the protesters have probably received the money they raised in the interim,” Humanists U.K.’s Education Campaigns manager Dr. Ruth Wareham said. 

From next September, it would be mandatory for all secondary schools to teach LGBTQ relationships as part of a new sex education curriculum.

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