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George Broadhead was a humanist activist and gay rights campaigner, motivated by a twin commitment to humanism and human rights. A co-founder, in 1979, of the Gay Humanist Group (today known as LGBT Humanists) and later of the Pink Triangle Trust, he took a leading role in the promotion of humanist values and the provision of humanist ceremonies for LGBT people – the latter more than a decade before the legalisation of same sex marriage.


George Broadhead (second from left) and Roy Saich (far right) with fellow founders of the Gay Humanist Group and Maureen Duffy, toasting the GHG’s 5th anniversary

George Alfred Broadhead was born in 1933 in Douglas, Isle of Man, where his parents ran a bed and breakfast. He attended Douglas High School for Boys and went on to study English and French at Keele University.

In 1965, in London’s well-known gay pub, the Coleherne, Broadhead met Roy Saich, who would be his partner for nearly six decades. During the early 1970s, while living in Chesham, the couple founded their local chapter of The Campaign for Homosexual Equality: Chilterns CHE. Through it, they helped to organise meetings, talks, socials, and trips, creating spaces of safety and community for gay men and women.

Leaflet: ‘Introducing the Gay Humanist Group’, c. 1980

Upon moving to Warwickshire–where they helped to found their local humanist group, the Coventry and Warwickshire Humanists–they continued their activism. In 1979, Broadhead and Saich were among the founders of the Gay Humanist Group (now LGBT Humanists): bringing together their mutually held humanism, and commitment to advancing LGBT rights. Founded in the wake of Mary Whitehouse’s prosecution of Gay News for blasphemy, the group was launched at CHE’s annual conference that year. Its aims were:

to make gay people aware of the gay-friendly Humanist ethical outlook; to further an awareness among heterosexual Humanists of the widespread prejudice and discrimination suffered by gays whilst encouraging their support; and to play a part in the campaign for gay and Humanist rights.

George Broadhead manning a stall for the group in 1994, then known as the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA)

Broadhead served as Secretary of the Gay Humanist Group for 25 years, and was described by fellow humanist activist and writer Jim Herrick as ‘a tower of strength’. Secularist and gay rights activist Terry Sanderson wrote that Broadhead provided ‘a steady voice against the encroachment and growth of religious homophobia’. Broadhead led on administration, promotion, and communication with members and other LGBT groups, and acted as editor of The Gay Humanist, the magazine of the Gay Humanist Group. In 1992, Broadhead co-founded the Pink Triangle Trust, which offered humanist affirmation ceremonies for same sex couples. The Trust was a significant contributor to a secular school in Uganda, which today has a classroom named for Broadhead and Saich.

George Broadhead died in Kenilworth in 2021, aged 87.


45 years on from its founding by George Broadhead and others, LGBT Humanists continues to thrive. Broadhead believed firmly that the humanist outlook had much to offer LGBT people, as well as in the importance of taking a stand against religious homophobia from a rationalist standpoint. Through the creation of the Gay Humanist Group and the Pink Triangle Trust, he helped to establish a humanist community with companionship and campaigning at its heart, still active almost half a century later.

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