‘Underground Railroad’ Ferries Gays Out Of Uganda

The plight of gay Ugandans is well-known here, but it hasn't gone unnoticed by the rest of the world. A group of Quakers calling themselves Friends New Underground Railroad (FNUR) formed to take action and help gays and lesbians in Uganda escape persecution.

UgandaModeling themselves after the Quakers from the Civil War the Olympia, WA-based group has "conductors" guide those trying to flee in small groups along back roads to safe houses. Everyone's identities are kept secret, and even other conductors don't know each other. Even the leader of the group goes by the pseudonym Levi Coffin II, named after one of the conductors from the Civil War.

So far an estimated 107 people have been helped to escape from Uganda, but the group is not without detractors. Scott Long of Human Rights Watch said:

This is not the kind of stuff that well-meaning amateurs can do, and the money’s basically going to be wasted. I fully appreciate the good intentions here, but the organizers [should] be persuaded to subordinate their efforts to a recognized refugee NGO or to the security committee.