Sunday, December 4, 2011
The start holiday season means the Salvation Army’s red kettle fundraising campaign is here, however, if you support LGBT rights, you may want to boycott the red kettle.
The Salvation Army has a long history of discriminating against the LGBT community and despite denials from the organization that they are homophobic, I found this charming bon mot on their national website:
“Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage. Likewise, there is no scriptural support for demeaning or mistreating anyone for reason of his or her sexual orientation. The Salvation Army opposes any such abuse.”
While the Salvation Army opposes violence against gays, they don’t believe gays and lesbians should ever know the intimacy of any loving relationship. The irony is rich.
The website Bilerico sites three major examples of how the Salvation Army sought to attack and deny services to the LGBT community:
- 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.
If you are feeling charitable and can donate a few dollars this year, instead of donating to the Salvation Army, consider a secular charity or these four national organizations who help anyone in need without homophobic prejudice:
- The Red Cross
- Doctors Without Borders
- Habitat for Humanity