GoFundMe takes down fundraising page launched by Birmingham campaigners against LGBT-inclusive education

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Parents, children and protesters demonstrate against the ‘No Outsiders’ programme, which teaches children about LGBT rights, at Parkfield Community School on March 21, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The crowdfunding website GoFundMe has removed a page launched by Shakeel Afsar, one of the leaders of the Birmingham protests against LGBT-inclusive education in schools.

The fundraiser requested money for legal fees to fight a High Court injunction banning him and others from protesting near Anderton Park School in Birmingham.

The charity Humanists UK argued that the page contravened the website’s terms, which prohibit campaigns associated with “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 has now been removed, with GoFundMe admitting that it “violates our terms of service”.

Protesters demonstrate against the 'No Outsiders' programme at Parkfield Community School on March 21, 2019 in Birmingham, England.
Protesters outside Parkfield Community School on March 21, 2019 in Birmingham (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Before its removal the crowdfund had raised £9,500 against a target of £30,000, but the site has not indicated what will happen to the money.

Asif Bapu, who gave £10, posted: “This is a deliberate brainwashing agenda orchestrated by the government and a powerful lobby. This is nothing to do with equality and discrimination.”

Nazmeen Akhtar, who donated £100, said: “I am not comfortable about this because it goes against my faith. I can teach my child myself to treat all races, religions and LGBT all equal myself.

“I don’t want a teacher to indoctrinate children into believing its OK to be a gay Muslim because this will just be unstable and dismantle families. It’s our right on how we bring our children up.”

Humanists UK told The Guardian: “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.”

In June, a judge ruled to continue to ban protests from an exclusion zone surrounding the school. A further hearing on whether to maintain the injunction against protesters is expected to take place next month.

Parents, children and protesters demonstrate against the 'No Outsiders' programme, which teaches children about LGBT rights, at Parkfield Community School on March 21, 2019 in Birmingham, England.
Protesters outside Parkfield Community School on March 21, 2019 in Birmingham (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

LGBT-inclusive education to be compulsory from September 2020.

In March this year MPs voted by a margin of 538 to 21 in favour of adopting the government’s new LGBT-inclusive guidance for compulsory relationships and sex education.

From September 2020, every primary school child will learn about different types of families, including those with same-sex parents, while secondary school students will learn about sexual orientation and gender identity. New research proves that the majority of the British public supports this move.

Last week the new education secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that the government will be “supporting and backing every single school” as they prepare to roll out this LGBT-inclusive curriculum.

Despite the government’s ruling, protesters have continued to campaign against LGBT-inclusive education, with many spreading “misinformation” about what the programme actually entails.

Leaflets recently distributed at one east London school falsely claimed that the lessons would teach infants about masturbation, encourage “first sexual experiences by the age of 12”, promote “transgenderism and homosexual lifestyles” and “pervert the course of natural child development”.

The group behind the leaflet, School Gate Campaign, later told the BBC it would remove the statement about masturbation but “stood by” its other claims.

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