A fundraising page which aimed to provide funds to anti-LGBT teaching protesters has been taken down as it “violates terms of service”.
The crowdfunder was set up to raise money for campaigners subject to a High Court injunction banning them from demonstrating outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham.
The charity Humanists UK said it had complained to GoFundMe two months ago, saying the page violated the site’s rules as it was “in defence of… alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity or serious disabilities or diseases”.
Anderton Park’s headteacher, Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, welcomed a judge’s ruling in June which continues to ban protests from an exclusion zone surrounding the school.
Birmingham City Council’s legal action followed weeks of demonstrations outside the school against the teaching of certain aspects of relationship education.
Mr Justice Warby QC said he found it likely that the authority would establish at trial that “some of the protesting has gone beyond lawful limits and strayed into harassing, alarming or distressing conduct, through its persistence, timing and context”.
Now the crowdfunding site GoFundMe has handed protesters a further setback after taking down the page, which was set up by one of the main campaigners, Shakeel Afsar.
Humanists UK said the fundraiser had reached almost £10,000 before it was taken down on Tuesday, but the site has not indicated what will happen to the money.
The charity’s Education Campaigns manager Dr Ruth Wareham said: “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.
“This homophobic crowdfunder was in support of protesters who have been holding disruptive and intimidating rallies that have absolutely no place near a school.
“There is strong evidence that the protesters involved in these demonstrations have been uttering outrageous homophobic slurs and even calling members of school staff paedophiles, which surely was in breach of GoFundMe’s terms.”
A GoFundMe spokeswoman said: “We have removed this page as it violates our terms of service.”