Andrew Markle

American Quakers Create Ugandan 'Underground Railroad'

Filed By Andrew Markle | July 15, 2014 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: American Quakers, Friends chuch, Kill the Gays law, Uganda, Underground Railroad

Uganda-gay-rainbow.jpgIn September 2011, Bilerico contributor Joe Mirabella posed the question "Do We Need an LGBT Underground Railroad?". To answer his question, American Quakers in Uganda have created such a thing dubbing it the "Friends New Underground Railroad".

With Uganda's abhorrent record on LGBT rights and recently disturbing laws that criminalize homosexuality, the Society of Friends, one of the nation's oldest religions and a founding pillar for progressivism, has stepped up to help the cause. They won't identify themselves or the people they assist, but it is definitely an interesting case as Africa moves forward.

The organization based in Olympia, Wash. sees itself following the footsteps of earlier Quakers who helped bring slaves out of the American South before the Civil War. There are less than 10 Ugandan "conductors" that have reportedly helped 107 people leave the country on grants ranging from $52 - $185.

The organization is also reporting that 12 people have escaped to other countries such as South African and Sweden, although unconfirmed reports say that around 30 have reached Europe.

Security precautions makes their work impossible to verify and the identities and locations of the "conductors" are kept secret even from one another.

FNUR currently only funds passage to the borders of Uganda, but the people they are helping are delivered to Safe Houses or organizations to provide support on the other side. No FNUR refugee has ended up in a Kenyan refugee camp and the organization is presently reporting that they have an official waiting list of 118 people waiting to leave the country.

It is believed that there are hundreds more attempting to escape.

For more information on FNUR, visit .

(h/t Newsweek)


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