Gay people urged to reject racism

Racism has no place in the Lesbian and Gay Community

We are deeply concerned that the autumn issue of The Gay and Lesbian Humanist magazine includes a number of statements which can be interpreted as racist, including support for the now deceased gay Dutch racist, Pim Fortuyn.

One article demonised immigrants stating: ‘our major towns and cities being for ever changed by huge numbers of foreign settlers’, referred to as: ‘the often poor, ill-educated and culturally estranged Third Worlders’ many of whom ‘are criminals of the worst kind.’ (p.11)

Another article denounces all Muslims, stating: ‘what does a moderate Muslim do, other than excuse the real nutters by adhering to this barmy doctrine?’ (p.6)

The magazine endorses views of the deceased far right Dutch leader Pim Fortuyn, saying: ‘the warning of popular gay politician Pim Fortuyn were tragically snuffed out by a left wing assassin before he could sufficiently alert people to the damage the influx of Muslims is doing to his own native land.’ (p.12)

This attitude to Fortuyn is consistent. As long ago as 2002, the editor wrote of him approvingly: ‘his “crime” in the eyes of many was that he said his country could take no more immigrants.’

We believe that the lesbian and gay community has nothing to gain from racism. On the contrary, we pledge to work with the Black and Asian communities to tackle racism and the far right which threaten all of our human rights and indeed our very lives.

We differ with the leaders of most religions in their all too often bigoted attitudes to lesbian and gay rights but rather than demonise any one religion or race or immigrants, we will work with lesbian and gay Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, people of all religions and none, to promote respect for our human rights.

Denis Fernando, Lesbian and Gay Coalition Against Racism
Ubaid, Secretary, Imaan, The LGBT Muslim support group
Dennis Carney, Chair, Black Gay Mens Advisory Group
Takhsin Begum,  Black representative, NUS LGBT Campaign
Black Lesbians UK
Kirsten Hearn, Chair of the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Board of the Metropolitan Police Authority
Peter Herbert, Chair, London Race Hate Crime Forum and Spokesperson, Society of Black Lawyers
Reeva Bell, Chair, National Black Crown Prosecution Association
Simon Wooley, Chair, Operation Black Vote / Director, Black Londoners Forum
Pav Akhtar, NUS Black Students Officer
Brenda Ellis, Regard Executive Committee member
Pam Burrows, Satori Diversity and Training