Target: Gabi Clayton, Co-Manager of Friends New Underground Railroad
Goal: Thank Quaker group for assisting Ugandan LGBT in escaping homophobic violence and persecution in their country
The Religious Society of Friends, a Quaker sect based in Washington, has stepped up and taken action in order to assist LGBT individuals wishing to escape the Uganda region. Such action should be applauded.
In a country that has openly condemned homosexual activity and made it illegal, Ugandan LGBT persons face threat of imprisonment, torture and execution. These men and women live in constant fear of being exposed. Local newspapers have printed names of suspected LGBT, forcibly outing them to the public. The Ugandan government encourages families and friends to report LGBT activity and has started prosecuting those that assist LGBT. Authorities conveniently look the other way when street violence happens to these participants.
The Religious Society of Friends, a Quaker group, has formed The Friends New Underground Railroad (FNUR) and coordinates with Ugandan New Underground Railroad ‘conductors’ to facilitate the escape of LGBT fearful for their lives in Uganda. These conductors risk the same fate as the evacuees they are helping. FNUR has supported conductors with funding to expedite exit from the territory for approximately 270-parties, very possibly saving their lives.
Considering the large number of religious groups that persist in their homophobic teachings and condemnation, it is refreshing to find a religious circle opening their eyes to this aberration and having the strength to come together in an effort to save lives, as opposed to encouraging hate. We should encourage religious groups when they deviate from the outdated teachings and look within for true moral guidance.
Dear Ms. Clayton,
Please extend my thanks and gratitude to The Religious Society of Friends for forming The Friends New Underground Railroad.
The open heart and mind your group exhibits in realizing the plight of the Ugandan LGBT community and how abhorrent that persecution is, is indeed a breath of fresh air from the religious world.
I truly hope that others will follow in your example and view the LGBT population as equals, entitled to essential rights and freedom from prosecution. Please continue your efforts, as it seems the Ugandan government is nowhere near having the grace that your organization does.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons