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Court imposes permanent ban on anti-LGBT protesters at Birmingham school

Some protestors had announced ‘God created women for men’s pleasure’. Photo credit: Sky News

Humanists UK has today welcomed the High Court’s decision to uphold an injuction which permanently prohibits anti-LGBT protesters from holding intimidating rallies near Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham.

The High Court in Birmingham today ruled that a temporary injunction placing an ‘exclusion zone’ around Anderton Park Primary School should be made permanent. The injunction was enforced after the judge said the protesters had ‘misrepresented’ what is being taught at the school and rejected the claim that the school had been promoting homosexuality. He also said that the protests have ‘had an adverse impact on pupils staff and residents’, with police who gave evidence during the trial saying the protests were ‘potentially dangerous’. The ruling bans Shakeel Afsar, Rosina Afsar, Amir Ahmed, and ‘persons unknown’ from protesting near the school.

Humanists UK, which has long campaigned for fully inclusive relationships and sex education (RSE) for all pupils regardless of background, said it was a sensible decision at a time when attitudes toward LGBT people have been worsening. New figures show a 333% rise in homophobic attacks in one area of Birmingham which has reportedly been linked to the protests outside the school.

Humanists UK recently succeeded in shutting down the protesters’ GoFundMe fundraiser after reporting it to the site for breaching the terms of service. According to media reports, the protesters owe more than £38,000 in court-related costs.

Anderton Park Primary in Sparkhill has been at the centre of a fiery debate over LGBT-inclusive lessons. In recent months, hundreds of protesters have gathered, with some shouting homophobic comments while children walked through the school gates and calling school staff paedophiles. One of the protesters was also heard saying ‘God created women for men’s pleasure.’

Headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson has consistently called for Government action to support schools like hers which are carrying out their legal duty to teach respect and equality for all protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

Humanists UK’s Education Campaigns Manager Dr Ruth Wareham said ‘We welcome the decision to ban protesters from holding intimidating rallies and harassing pupils, staff, and other parents at the school gates.

‘Children have a right to be taught factually-accurate relationships and sex education which equips them with the knowledge needed to lead healthy, happy, and safe lives. Regardless of their parent’s religious beliefs, children need to learn about the different types of families that exist in society so that they grow up respecting others. We now urge the Government to take a stronger stance and provide proper support for schools in the event that anti-RSE activists try to derail the curriculum elsewhere.’

NOTES:

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Press Manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at casey@humanism.org.uk or phone 020 7324 3078.

Read our most recent article on the protests at Anderton Park Primary.

Read more about Humanist UK’s work to shut down the GoFundMe page.

Read more about our work on relationships and sex education.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

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