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It's easy to forget that the Salvation Army isn't just a charitable organization which rings bells and collects donations around this time of year; they are also fairly conservative Christian denomination with an active history of LGBT discrimination.

It's easy to forget that the Salvation Army isn't just a charitable organization which rings bells and collects donations around this time of year; they are also fairly conservative Christian denomination with an active history of LGBT discrimination.

Since 1986 the Salvation Army has engaged in five major assaults on the LGBT community's civil rights and attempted to carve out exemptions that would allow them to deny gays and lesbians needed services as well as employment.

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 The law has since been repealed, but it led many schools and colleges to close LGBT student organizations out of fear they'd lose their government funding.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.

For many of us, depositing our spare change, or giving a dollar whenever we see a Salvation Army Bell Ringer is second nature.  But I happen to believe our money is better served with other charitable organizations, preferably ones that support our LGBT brothers and sisters.  I've got my list of charitable organizations.  Any other suggestions?

Originally posted to Dr Christopher Boerl on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 09:55 AM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays, LGBT Kos Community, Milk Men And Women, and LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yeah, I have no respect for those ding-a-lings. nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, Damnit Janet, rb608, LOrion
  •  It's important to remember this (8+ / 0-)

    Absolutely, it's time to stop supporting charities that have policies that treat us gay folk as second-class citizens. Repubilishing this to a few groups.

  •  I usually tell them (8+ / 0-)

    "sorry, but since Salvation Army discriminates against gays, I'm giving my donations this year to another charity" and then tell them that I hope that Jesus opens their heart to everyone this Christmas.

    The looks on their faces are priceless!

    The GOP -- Hating Women, Gays and People of Color since 1854

    by Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 10:14:57 AM PST

  •  More info and a great downloadable Voucher (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb608

    you can print and drop in the kettle over at Americablog

    "Are these morons getting dumber or just louder?" - Mayor Quimby

    by Banach MacAmbrais on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 10:18:45 AM PST

  •  That's why I never give to religious charities. (6+ / 0-)

    It's never about the charity. It's all about their religion.

  •  Do you have any reports of discrimination later (4+ / 0-)

    than the 2001, 2004 reports?

    Here in Canada the Salvation Army has no record of such discrimination to my knowledge. I personally have seen quite the reverse.

    I will continue to donate to Sally Ann because of what they have done in my area. During this season, they are the ONLY charity I will donate to.

    BTW, here in Canada we have recognized LGBT rights long before the US and continue to be much more progressive. How many states give full rights to the LGBT community? There are still a number of states that ban same sex marriages.

  •  that's exactly why non profit charities cannot (5+ / 0-)

    do what "government" needs to do in providing the basics of a  social safety net - they all have an agenda of their own.

    Not to mention that charities run out of money when the economy is at it's worst - just when the services are most needed.

    And even in good times, they never really have enough to go around.

  •  I haven't donated for decades because of thier (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Damnit Janet, rb608, Cassandra Waites

    right wing crap and homophobia... Not to mention that they may help people at the price of them accepting their preaching and eventually submitting to their belief system.

    Fear is the Mind Killer...

    by boophus on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 10:48:49 AM PST

  •  I don't give to them. For that reason. (0+ / 0-)

    On this point, my spouse and I disagree.  While she knows about the SA stand on LGBT (I tell her every time she heads for a kettle), her perception of them is that they do a lot of good otherwise.  Perhaps so, but for me, there are many, many other ways to donate to a "do good" organization without denying LGBT rights.

    I think that the SA has just found a good niche in providing a convenient way to collect $$ from people who would never write them a check from their desk.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 11:11:31 AM PST

  •  The Salvation Army’s Response to Allegations (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice1957, NickK, MarEng

    of LGBTQ Discrimination.

    The Salvation Army’s Response to Allegations of LGBTQ Discrimination

    We have received calls and emails to our offices, as well as comments on our Facebook page and through Twitter, about The Salvation Army and LGBTQ discrimination.

    There are two issues about which most people are generally concerned. These are:

        First, a photo-shopped image of two Salvation Army kettle workers below a kettle sign that reads: “Gays Not Allowed.”

        Second, comments from a 2012 radio interview in which an Australian Salvation Army officer agreed with the comment that, “gays should be put to death.”

    The radio comments, however, are of greater concern. It is important to note that the Army around the world immediately rejected those comments and made public statements against them. We stand by the rejection of those comments still. We sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community and to our clients, employees, donors and volunteers for the offence caused by this misrepresentation of the Army’s views.

    This is a link to our response to the radio interview that we posted publicly in June 2012, and stand by today.

    For more than 130 years, The Salvation Army has had the privilege of serving vulnerable people in over 400 communities across Canada. Last year, we helped over 1.8 million people. We assisted people from the LGBTQ community and will continue to do so. And we employ individuals from the LGBTQ community as well.

    We take allegations of discrimination very seriously. If you are aware of a situation where a person has been the target of discrimination, please let us know because this is contrary to our mission.

    Our mission is to “share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world.” We do this without discrimination. All of our social and community services are equally available. We respond solely based on people’s needs and our capability to serve.

    I am an atheist Canadian and, like most other Canadians, I don't give a flying fuck what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom nor what god(ess) you wish to talk to on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I would find it more offensive for my government to have prayer meetings than for a Sally Ann worker to offer a few words of thanks for a free hot meal in a time of need.

    But I do care about human beings in a time of need. I will triple my donations to the Salvation Army in order to make up for some of the negative effects of this diary.

    Merry fucking christmas....

    •  Yes, of course... (0+ / 0-)
      I don't give a flying fuck what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom
      Because with whom we have sex is all that defines us lgbt folks. RME!

      Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

      by Ian S on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 01:38:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You obviously have no goddamn clue about how (0+ / 0-)

        Canada came to have some of the most progressive LGBT protections in the world.

        Omnibus Bill: 'There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation'

        "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." Those unforgettable words made famous by Pierre Trudeau in 1967 caused a tidal wave of controversy that rippled across the entire nation. Trudeau's Omnibus Bill brought issues like abortion, homosexuality and divorce law to the forefront for the first time, changing the political and social landscape in Canada forever.

        Now do you understand why I used that phrase? Take careful note of that date!

        Now, I suggest you Google Lawrence v. Texas to find out when the US also made sex acts between consenting adults in the privacy of their bedrooms NOT the business of the state.

        Here's the kind of crap you could find still being spewed in 2003 by a US senator no less:

        Excerpt from Santorum interview
        Apr 23, 2003
        ..
        SANTORUM: We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion. And now we're just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you — this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it's my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.

        Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality —

        AP: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

        SANTORUM: And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we're seeing it in our society.

        AP: Sorry, I just never expected to talk about that when I came over here to interview you. Would a President Santorum eliminate a right to privacy — you don't agree with it?

        SANTORUM: I've been very clear about that. The right to privacy is a right that was created in a law that set forth a (ban on) rights to limit individual passions. And I don't agree with that. So I would make the argument that with President, or Senator or Congressman or whoever Santorum, I would put it back to where it is, the democratic process. If New York doesn't want sodomy laws, if the people of New York want abortion, fine. I mean, I wouldn't agree with it, but that's their right. But I don't agree with the Supreme Court coming in.

        Because with whom we have sex is all that defines us lgbt folks. RME!
        I may have way more knowledge of what defines a gay person than you assume.
        •  Really? (0+ / 0-)
          I may have way more knowledge of what defines a gay person than you assume.
          Could have fooled me. And FWIW, I know plenty of Canadian history having been born and grown up there. So you go on and donate as much as you like to SA. They won't be getting one red cent from me and my friends - gay or straight.

          Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

          by Ian S on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 08:01:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As a Canadian you should have picked up on the (0+ / 0-)

            bedroom reference immediately. It's as Canadian as universal health care, hockey and poutine.

            Goggle "Canada bedroom gay".

            So you go on and donate as much as you like to SA. They won't be getting one red cent from me and my friends - gay or straight.
            You are only hurting people who are helped by the SA.

            In case you didn't know, the guy who wrote the article referenced in this diary, Bil Browning, is pissed off and still holds a personal grudge against the Salvation Army because of how they treated he and his friend when they needed shelter 2 decades ago.

            Sounding Quiet Dissent About a Holiday Perennial

            Bil Browning and his boyfriend were homeless. To protect the identity of the boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend), Mr. Browning will not say specifically where, just that it was in “southern Indiana,” about 20 years ago. But he is very explicit about who refused to give them shelter.
            ...

            I personally do not believe in Jesus Christ nor any of the other religious trappings of the Salvation Army. But I can put that aside - each to their own - and look at the positives they have done.

            Maybe it's time to recognize a win when it stares you in the face.

            Salvation Army Harbor Light Centers Offer Strength, Support & Acceptance
            The Salvation Army USA

            Salvation Army Open to All
            The Salvation Army USA
  •  I'm always torn about this. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, Ian S

    I've been homeless. The Salvation Army ran one of the shelters I stayed in. My sexuality was never an issue, but I don't think I told anyone.

    They provide some important and needed services. However, I am reluctant to donate to them because of the stories of discrimination I've heard. It would only be pocket change if I did donate because I don't have much money.

    My biggest issue is that most of the shelters I've seen are religiously based. I wish the government would get more involved in providing homeless services so that people aren't forced to participate in religious services or are proselytized to.

  •  Salvation Army does a LOT of good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac

    As another commenter noted, when one desperately needs help, the Salvation Army does not ask one's sexual orientation.  They help people that need help.  In some areas, they are, in effect, a "first responder" for emergency assistance.

    Give generously to the Salvation Army, or the Red Cross, or the Union Gospel Mission, or whoever is the first to step up and help those in terrible distress in your community.  Don't punish the innocent unfortunates.

  •  I Have Been Boycotting the SA for Years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian S

    for the very reasons stated above.  The SA tried to make a "devil's bargain" with the Bush White House and its so-called office of "faith-based initiatives."

    BTW -I just donated $500 to the Los Angeles Food Bank

    In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our minds. In loyalty to our kind, We cannot tolerate their obstruction.

    by mojave mike on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 03:37:13 PM PST

  •  And while you are at it, don't give to United Way (0+ / 0-)

    In addition to the good works that they do, United Way also funnels undesignated funds to organizations like the Family Research Council which is not a charity, but a front for Ultra-Conservative PACs dedicated to suppressing reproductive and LGBT rights.

    In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our minds. In loyalty to our kind, We cannot tolerate their obstruction.

    by mojave mike on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 03:48:00 PM PST

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