Minority LGBT support organisation loses funding

City Council promised this summer to support LGBT people with ethnic minority backgrounds, but last week cut funding for a leading organisation in the field

An organisation that helps LGBT people from the immigrant community is accusing the City Council of breaking a promise after its funding was cut from the 2014 budget.

In July, the organisation, Sabaah, wrote an op-ed together with the city's deputy mayor for employment and integration, Anna Mee Allerslev (Radikale), in which they promised to help LGBT youth from the immigrant community.

According to Sabaah, an increasing number of ethnic minority Danes who experience difficulty admitting their sexual orientation to their friends and family have reached out for help.

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Unexpected funding cut
Despite this promise, Sabaah was not singled out for funding by any of the political parties and as a result will have to close at the end of this year.

“For more than seven years Sabaah has worked socially, culturally and politically to improve the conditions for ethnic minority LGBT youth in Denmark and our most important work includes counselling and providing a safe space,” the organisation wrote in a press release.

“But with the sad news regarding the lack of support for funding, we will have to significantly cut our work in the field," the release continued. "The enormous work that Sabaah has undertaken to break taboos in conservative environments and pose relevant questions through our debates will not be remembered."

READ MORE: Ethnic minorities face difficulty 'coming out'

Radikale surprised
While Sabaah writes that it has maintained a running dialogue with the City Council, Allerslev said she was unaware that Sabaah’s funding was running out

“I am both surprised and disappointed by the situation,” Allerslev wrote in a comment to the magazine Homotropolis. “There is no doubt that Sabaah is an important and good partner and I will now investigate what we can do to help them.”

According to City Council member Morten Kabell (Enhedslisten), his party had tried to put Sabaah on the agenda.

“We tried to raise awareness about a number of projects, including Sabaah, that stood to lose their funding in the new year but the other parties were not willing to take a look at the issue,” Kabell told Modkraft.dk.

Sabaah spokesperson Fahad Saeed told Modkraft that they were now seeking alternative funding in order to continue the organisation's work.

He added that unless they found the funding by the end of the year, the organisation would have to end the lease on its offices and fire its two student workers.