Since 1979, UK-based LGBT Humanists have been promoting an awareness and understanding of the Humanist ethical outlook, bringing LGBT rights issues to the attention of the public, and playing a full part in the campaign for lesbian and gay equality.
It was the prosecution of Gay News by Mary Whitehouse in 1977 which led to the birth of the Gay Humanist Group (GHG). Whitehouse became the target of vociferous protest, not least from the National Secular Society which had been campaigning for years for the repeal of the blasphemy laws. She began declaring in public that "everything good and true" that "every decent person believes in" was being undermined by "the humanist gay lobby". This was enough to set a few gays in the Humanist movement thinking. Although any formal lobby of this sort was at the time just a figment of Whitehouse's imagination, it seemed like a good idea to set one up.
A launch meeting of GHG was held in August 1979 during the Campaign for Homosexual Equality's annual conference in Brighton - an event which attracted 600 people. A speaker at the meeting sounded a warning that the small gains which the gay movement had made within the previous ten years could quite easily be wiped out as a result of the growing influence of evangelical Christians in the corridors of power. No doubt he had in mind the Nationwide Festival of Light - later to become Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) which, together with the Christian Institute, is still very active today in lobbying against lesbian and gay rights. It is this sort of malign Christian influence which succeeded in getting Section 28 included in the 1988 Local Government Act, strenously opposed attempts to get it repealed, and did its utmost to thwart attempts to lower the male gay age of consent to 16.
Before the 1979 CHE conference began, a half-page advertisement appeared in the Brighton Evening Argus. This was sponsored by 22 local Christian clergymen who stated their strong opposition on biblical grounds to the town hosting the conference. The founder members of GHG were in the vanguard of protest at this hostility, taking part in a demonstration outside the church of one of the clergy responsible. And this was to be the first of many such direct actions which the group (later to change its name to the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association, then Galha, and now LGBT Humanists) became involved in over the following years.
LGBT Humanists are one of the few national lesbian and gay campaigning groups which is democratically run. It has acquired many loyal supporters all over the UK and abroad whose moral and financial support has sustained it. It relies heavily on a core group of volunteers. It has good reason to be proud of its long and continuing contribution to promoting Humanism and LGBT rights.
Since 2012 it is proud to be the official LGBT section of the British Humanist Association.