The 2010 Nordic Rainbow Humanists award has gone to secretary general George Thindwa and his colleagues of the Association for Secular Humanism of Malawi. “This has been made for their courageous public stand for LGBT identity and rights in this African nation, taking great risks of retaliation from homophobic politicians, religious leaders, and a hostile mass media”, said Nordic Rainbow Humanists’ international secretary Bill Schiller in Stockholm.
“This is the second time our annual award has gone to Africa and we were very pleased to have this recommendation from an earlier winner and staunch supporter of LGBT rights Leo Igwe of the Nigerian Humanist Movement.
“The Malawi Humanists are being honoured for defending LGBT rights in a continent where tolerance towards the LGBT communities is a rare exception and where even former African freedom fighters and anti-colonialist leaders, now in power, openly call for the imprisonment and punishment of LGBT people”, said Schiller.
Earlier winners of the Nordic Rainbow Humanists award include George Broadhead (co-founder and long-serving secretary of the UK Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association), veteran Norwegian lesbian activist Kim Friele, Carl-Johan Kleberg (former chairman of the Swedish Humanists), veteran Dutch gay activist Rob Tielman (former president of the International Humanist & Ethical Union), Leo Igwe and colleagues of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, and Remus Cernea and colleagues of the Romanian Humanist Association.
In a message to George Thindwa, George Broadhead, now secretary of the UK charity the Pink Triangle Trust, said: “Warm congratulations to Malawian Humanists on winning the 2010 Nordic Rainbow Humanist Award. If the situation for LGBT people is anything like as dire as that in Uganda, you richly deserve this for so courageously taking up the cudgels on their behalf. You also deserve great praise for your staunch opposition to the persecution of people in Malawi accused of witchcraft. As a gay Humanist who won this same award in 2002, I salute you.”