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LGBT group boycotts Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign

LGBT group boycotts Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign

The Salvation Army's bellringer campaign is not getting a ringing endorsement from the LGBT community.  On The Bilirico Project's website, the reason they are giving is because the Salvation Army discriminates against the gay community.

The Salvation Army has a history of active discrimination against gays and lesbians. While you might think you're helping the hungry and homeless by dropping a few dollars in the bright red buckets, not everyone can share in the donations. Many LGBT people are rejected by the evangelical church charity because they're "sexually impure."

The church claims it holds "a positive view of human sexuality," but then clarifies that "sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage." The Salvation Army doesn't believe that gays and lesbians should ever know the intimacy of any loving relationship, instead teaching that "Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life."

On its webpage, the group claims that "the services of The Salvation Army are available to all who qualify, without regard to sexual orientation." While the words are nice, their actions speak volumes. They blatantly ignore the position statement and deny LGBT people services unless they renounce their sexuality, end same-sex relationships, or, in some cases, attend services "open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army's doctrine and discipline." In other words, if you're gay or lesbian, you don't qualify.

The organization also has a record of actively lobbying governments worldwide for anti-gay policies – including an attempt to make consensual gay sex illegal. (Yes, you're paying lobbyists with those donations.)

They are also claiming that since 1968, the Salvation Army has participated in "five major assaults" on the LGBT community's civil rights:

  • When New Zealand considered passage of the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986, the Salvation Army collected signatures in an attempt to get the legislation killed. The act decriminalized consensual sex between gay men. The measure passed over the charity's objections.
  • In the United Kingdom, the Salvation Army actively pushed passage of an amendment to the Local Government Act. The amendment stated that local authorities "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship." The law has since been repealed, but it led many schools and colleges to close LGBT student organizations out of fear they'd lose their government funding.
  • In 2001, the organization tried to extract a resolution from the White House that they could ignore local non-discrimination laws that protected LGBT people. While the commitment would have applied to all employees, the group claimed that it needed the resolution so it "did not have to ordain sexually active gay ministers and did not have to provide medical benefits to the same-sex partners of employees." After lawmakers and civil rights activists revealed the Salvation Army's active resistance to non-discrimination laws, the White House admitted the charity was seeking the exemptions.
  • Also in 2001, the evangelical charity actively lobbied to change how the Bush administration would distribute over $24 billion in grants and tax deductions by urging the White House deny funding to any cities or states that included LGBT non-discrimination laws. Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary, issued a statement saying the administration was denying a "regulation sought by the church to protect the right of taxpayer-funded religious organizations to discriminate against homosexuals."
  • In 2004, the Salvation Army threatened to close all their soup kitchens in New York City to protest the city's decision to require all vendors and charities doing business with the city to adhere to all civil rights laws. The organization balked at having to treat gay employees equal to straight employees.

The group is recommending that instead of donating to the bellringers, donations should be sent to Goodwill, The Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, and Habitat for Humanity.

This hotly contested video was posted on YouTube:

Comments on the video include protests that the Salvation Army does not discriminate against anyone.

About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
  • Wayne

    Because I've been a recipient of SA's services – I'm a volunteer firefighter and the Salvation Army's Canteen truck supplied food and rehab service at a couple of major fires and rescue events – I try to put a fiver or two in the kettle.

    I have also seen them called to help families after a fire burned them out.

  • zzzzz

    For some people Sal is a major source of clothing for their families. I used to love shopping there but so much stuff now disappears out the back. It has become, alas, another non-profit with little to no accountability.

    As a side-note, I would not give to the Heifer Project as I do not beleve in animal husbandry. There are farming practices in place at this moment in time which would ensure that no one need be hungry in the world.

    I would never give to the Red Cross. Another non-profit where money disappears with no accountability.

    Doctors Without Borders is a wonderful organization where I believe they walk the talk.


  • Laura

    I also do not donate to the Red Cross after their atrocious policies in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. I donate and volunteer at a local homeless shelter that I have personal ties to. I think this is the most beneficial method of donation.

    • I volunteer with the Salvation Army and was not aware of some of its anti-gay, discriminatory propaganda until last year. I have not seen it on a local level and it makes me sick to see what it is doing nationally in promoting discrimination and hate.

      I can speak from experience in saying that when it comes to disaster relief, the Salvation Army is usually first there and last to leave, and rarely gets credit for all of its hard work. It is extremely efficient in getting help to where it is needed. Last evacuation I worked at, we with the Salvation Army were the ONLY people who showed up to help, and there were only 13 of us feeding and caring for a few thousand, 24/7. When the people got to go home, other charities raced to the newspaper to take credit when they in fact did nothing and we worked ourselves to the point of exhaustion.

      It ticks me off that Salvation Army has decided to actively participate in discrimination. It was one of the best charities around in terms of disaster relief.

      I've donated to both Doctors Without Borders and helped with Habitat for Humanity, both of which I think are fantastic organizations.

      I agree with Laura about her comments on the Red Cross. As far as homeless aid goes, I've donated from time to time to Atheists Helping the Homeless. I like AHH's style in that people needing help don't have to listen to a sermon to get the help they need.


      • Brad Czacc Tayylor

        why are my negative (red thumbs down votes) being registered as positive votes (Green thumbs up) vote rigging

        • There is no rigging here, Brad. Sometimes we hit the wrong thumb by mistake. Downvote my reply and see.


  • Brad Czacc Tayylor

    Well there's a thing wasn't the founder of the sally ally a homosexual??? himself???

    Well if they are anti gay/lesbian/transgendered hating bigots then they have seen the list penny from our foundation/family…

    dare you to post this item if you don't it goes to prove you are against gays

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