|Founded at||Brighton, England|
Isle of Man
|Maureen Duffy (past President)|
Andrew Copson (past chair)
|Gay Humanist Group (1979–1987)|
Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (1987–2012)
Galha LGBT Humanists (2012–2015)
LGBT Humanists UK, founded in 1979, is a special interest section of Humanists UK which campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality and human rights in the United Kingdom. It also organises social events for LGBT humanists and public awareness initiatives around Humanism.
It was founded as a separate humanist organisation, the Gay Humanist Group, later the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA). It became a part of the British Humanist Association in 2012, and took on the name Galha LGBT Humanists before becoming LGBT Humanists UK in 2015. The British Humanist Association (BHA) became Humanists UK in 2017.
For many years, its President was the poet Maureen Duffy, who became a Patron of the BHA when the organisations merged. As GALHA, the group was independently affiliated with the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) and the NGO Amnesty International. The group is led by volunteers. Past chairs include Andrew Copson, the chief executive of the BHA, who is also President of IHEU.
The Gay Humanist Group was originally founded in response to the Gay News 'blasphemy' trial by members of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality at their Brighton conference in August 1979. The group had been responded in response to unfounded accusations by Mary Whitehouse that a "gay humanist lobby" was influencing public opinion and public policy. The founding members of the Gay Humanist Group thought that, while Whitehouse's claims were unfounded and untrue, that a gay humanist lobby group was a good idea.
From its inception, the Gay Humanist Group worked to combat widespread prejudice and religious bigotry towards LGBT people in the UK, at a time when attitudes to homosexuality were still fairly negative on the whole. Since that time the organisation has played key roles in UK-wide campaigns for LGBT equality, particularly marriage rights for LGBT couples. The group had provided non-recognised humanist marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples since the 1980s, and coordinated a number of such ceremonies outside Parliament to inspire legislative action, which it credits with inspiring Mayor of London Ken Livingstone's London Partnership Register in 2001. This was in turn an inspiration for the 2005 Civil Partnership Act which preceded the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in 2013.
The Gay Humanist Group became GALHA (Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association) in 1987. It later became Galha LGBT Humanists in 2012, and then LGBT Humanists in 2015.