Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  Bad Bells

This Holiday Season, Be a Good Gay and Don’t Donate to the Salvation Army

It’s that time of year again: drink the egg nog, sit on the fat man’s lap, but whatever you do – don’t give a cent to the Salvation Army red kettle ringers asking for your spare change outside Marshall’s. We’ve never really liked the ring of their bells anyway. Yeah, yeah, the charitable evangelical organization helps tons of people in need, but the Army also has a long history of discrimination and lobbying for anti-gay causes, especially during the Bush era.

“We are urging a boycott of the Salvation Army because it uses its selective interpretation of the Bible to promote discrimination against LGBT people in employment benefits and leadership positions within the Army,” Andy Thayer, the co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network, told MSN.

Higher-ups at the Salvation Army deny any claims that the organization discriminates. Their official stance on homosexuality speaks for itself: “Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life.”

Bil Browning, editor-in-chief of The Bilerico Project, experienced this discrimination first-hand. “When a former boyfriend and I were homeless, the Salvation Army insisted we break up before they’d offer assistance. We slept on the street instead and declined to break up as they demanded,” he wrote.

Browning is urging his readers to donate instead to more progressive organizations like Goodwill, The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity.

Photo via GayCities.

By:           Oscar Raymundo
On:           Dec 2, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 29 Comments
    • shle896
      shle896

      I worked in media relations for the state headquarters of the Salvation Army about ten years ago, when they unceremoniously fired me after just a few weeks when they discovered I am gay. I was totally incredulous. I later discovered my immediate superior who fired me is a closet case who tried to pick me up at a bath house. These people are disgusting bigots and I haven’t put a penny in one of the kettles ever since.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 8:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • thegaytekeeper
      thegaytekeeper

      Wish I read this BEFORE I dropped money in their pot

      Dec 2, 2011 at 9:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Irekaz
      Irekaz

      I refuse to donate to the Red Cross because they refuse to allow me (or any other man that has sex with other men) to donate blood. If my blood is not good enough for the Red Cross, then neither is my money!

      Dec 2, 2011 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Susan
      Susan

      Thanks for letting me know that this is still an issue. Before my (gay) brother died, he warned me about The Salvation Army in the mid 90s. As a result, I don’t even donate my used goods to their stores.

      When I lived in Chicago I used take things to The Brown Elephant; the store supports The Howard Brown Health Care Center(linked above)dedicated to the health issues of the LGBT community.

      I now live in a smaller city and found a non-religious focused store that supports families with children in major medical crisis. Research before you donate!

      Dec 2, 2011 at 10:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dionte
      Dionte

      It use to be so hard for me to pass them without giving something even after hearing about the bad things they do, thanks I needed this push, now I will frown upon them.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kurt
      Kurt

      Try some of these charities:

      NYC: http://www.fpwa.org/cgi-bin/iowa/home/index.html

      Washington, DC: http://www.some.org/

      In Wisconsin: http://www.lsswis.org/

      In Colorado: http://www.laborscommunityagency.org/Home.aspx

      Dec 2, 2011 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fodolodo
      Fodolodo

      @Irekaz: I don’t think the Red Cross has any choice in the matter. (They’ve actually lobbied for changing the rule.)

      Dec 2, 2011 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      Third from the left asian boy. HAWTE.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lohen
      lohen

      but i already gave them a dollar D:
      i want my dollar back…
      celibacy my ass, who would agree to that?

      Dec 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason
      reason

      @Fodolodo: Correct, the Red Cross does not set the policy. The FDA is the organization that is holding the msm blood ban in place.

      As far as the salvation army, as long as they are helping everyone I don’t mind donating while I despise any discrimination in their organization. At the end of the day you don’t want to hurt the innocent people who need help and do not espouse any of the discriminatory views of the organizations providing help.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dpille
      Dpille

      I worked for the Salvation army for 3 years. I knew going in, that a “Religious Organization” was Anti-gay, so I played the game, and no one asked, and I didn’t tell. (just like the real army)

      I haven’t donated to that organization since I worked there, but for different reasons. 90% of their labor is from their “clients”. Basically slave labor. They receive $7.00/ week for 40 hours work.

      The Salvation Army lost their charity status due to the fact that they made too much money, and gave away too little. So, They became an “Addiction Rehab” Facility. This of course takes back seat to the running of their donation facility. The main thing that counts is how much money comes into each center through the sale of all the donated items. That is THE only thing that matters.

      The “Majors” (the head of each facility) are allowed to help themselves to anything that is donated. At the center I worked for in Florida, the major had 3 storage units full of items legally, (but not in my opinion morally) taken from the facility. Everything from furniture to boxes full of knick knacks. He also had his 2 children show up 6 times annually with trailers to haul off excess items, he didn’t have the room for.

      I saw allot of “theft”, (strictly my opinion that this was theft) coming from allegedly “Religious” people. People who were trying to save my soul with one hand, and shove everything they could find into their own pockets, with the other. It made me want to puke. I truly believe that “Judgement” day is coming and we will ALL answer for what we’ve done. Especially Hypocritical Religious nuts.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake
      Jake

      Great outfits, Good luck with the Salvation Army boycott.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul F
      Paul F

      When this time of year rolls around, I try to avoid “hells bells” but it sure is difficult when they park their butts in front of the door.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChorusGeek
      ChorusGeek

      To let the Salvation Army know how you feel about their discriminatory actions, Soulforce encourages you to participate in a “kettle protest” during the holiday season. Soulforce has developed coupons that can be downloaded from their website and dropped into the Salvation Army kettles instead of a contribution. You can enjoy the feeling of activism while also fully participating in the traditions of the season.

      http://www.soulforce.org/pdf/kettlevoucher.pdf

      Dec 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Owen
      Owen

      @Irekaz: The other two commenter’s are correct the Red Cross wants all the blood it can get to save lives, they are the ones who petitioned the FDA to change the rules, the FDA said no. There are a lot of rules about who can and cannot give blood based on travel, geographic location, health history, sexual activity, and many other reasons. All blood banks (that provide blood products for transfusion, not the creepy ones that pay you to donate, those are for research and very unsafe) have to follow the same rules. The sexual activity one is the screwiest and is in need of rework. It is important to remember that all these rules were developed to make our nation’s blood supply one of the safest in the world, but unfortunately politics and puritanical bias got involved when they had to think about sex… Like pretty much all of our government’s institutions the FDA has some homework to do on how to treat all people equally.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dallas David
      Dallas David

      @Dpille: Dpille, I saw the same thing at the center I worked at in Massachusetts. And it turned out the reason I got a bookkeeping job there was because the previous bookkeeper and the preacher had an affair, and the Mrs. wanted the previous Jezebel replaced with a male bookkeeper.

      Speaking as someone who saw the books, I can confidently say there are lots of other better places to make a charitable donation. Yep, most of the donated clothes and stuff was picked over by the staff (I did it as well), and so were the donated bags of canned goods and groceries.

      Everything is not quite what they say it is. I know, because I was there. I participated in the wrongdoing just like everyone else.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sfbayguy
      sfbayguy

      @Irekaz: The reason you can’t give blood to the Red Cross is not because of Red Cross rules. It’s because of US federal regulations that prohibit blood donation centers from accepting blood from men who have had sex with another man since 1977. It’s the federal government that needs to change, not the Red Cross.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      “If you’re a True Blood fan, this is troubling.” Does “this” refer to the Salvation Army or to those hot guys from San Francisco in QUEERTY’s picture?

      Dec 2, 2011 at 10:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gus
      Gus

      Many of the bell ringers in our area are PAID employees. The job advets start showing up in the local papers in mid October.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      I’ll donate some change to the Salvation army.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nurse Nancy
      Nurse Nancy

      @Irekaz and everyone else dogging the Red Cross and the FDA:

      The reason why the FDA and blood bank organizations have a policy of not accepting donations from MSM’s is because the annual number of new HIV diagnoses among this group is almost 6x higher than for the next highest at risk group (heterosexual contact). Also, transmission rates for HIV among MSM’s is almost 5x higher than those for the next highest group (heterosexual contact). These are staggering odds. Would you buy a car that you were 5-6x more likely to have a fatal accident in? How about fly with an airline?

      Get the facts. It’s not about discrimination, it’s about reducing the risk of infection in the blood supply. This is something we all may benefit from.

      Statistics are readily available from the CDC:

      http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm#hivaidsexposure

      Dec 3, 2011 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Spike: AGREED

      Dec 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 21 · Nurse Nancy wrote, “Get the facts. It’s not about discrimination, it’s about reducing the risk of infection in the blood supply. This is something we all may benefit from. Statistics are readily available from the CDC”

      Unfortunately for your argument, the statistics you cite are not relevant. All you have to do to protect the blood supply is give potential gay donors one of those 20 minute oral HIV tests on the spot and maybe ask if they had unprotected anal sex within the last X days (there’s a window during which an infection will not be detected by the test). Then the question becomes whether recently tested MSM’s are more or less likely to be HIV+ than population as a whole, something the CDC statistics you cite doesn’t address.

      Actually, you could give all donors such a test, but it may be more cost effective to test the ones who are statistically at a higher risk. The blood is going to be tested anyway.

      As I recall, they combine the blood from multiple donors and then run a pricey but very sensitive HIV test on it. If there’s a problem, they can binary search to find the
      blood to eliminate – that’s cheaper than using an expensive test for each donor.

      Dec 3, 2011 at 9:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Diesel69
      Diesel69

      I am in Montreal, Canada–I complained to my Provigo Chain–Grocery store—And faced the salvation army droopy face to face—I told the company to remove him immediately or i have no choice but to put their name on an international Homophobic Hate list—The next weekend i went back and our little red bell ringer was no longer on there…..

      Dec 5, 2011 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TAB
      TAB

      @reason: According to the article, the Salvation Army is refusing to help everyone.

      See the following from the above article:
      “Bil Browning, editor-in-chief of The Bilerico Project, experienced this discrimination first-hand. “When a former boyfriend and I were homeless, the Salvation Army insisted we break up before they’d offer assistance. We slept on the street instead and declined to break up as they demanded,””

      Dec 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TAB
      TAB

      @reason: @reason: According to the article, the Salvation Army is refusing to help everyone.

      See the following from the above article:
      “Bil Browning, editor-in-chief of The Bilerico Project, experienced this discrimination first-hand. “When a former boyfriend and I were homeless, the Salvation Army insisted we break up before they’d offer assistance. We slept on the street instead and declined to break up as they demanded,””

      Dec 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TAB
      TAB

      @reason: @reason: @reason: According to the article, the Salvation Army is refusing to help everyone.

      See the following from the above article:
      “Bil Browning, editor-in-chief of The Bilerico Project, experienced this discrimination first-hand. “When a former boyfriend and I were homeless, the Salvation Army insisted we break up before they’d offer assistance. We slept on the street instead and declined to break up as they demanded,””

      Dec 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • aq 2
      aq 2

      THE SALVATION ARMY is not discriminating gays. it’s just that the bible says no homosexual..God created boys and girls only… the money people donate in THE SALVATION ARMY is worth it because the poor people benefits it… if you became the victims of typhoon, don’t ever ask THE SALVATION ARMY cause you are criticizing them…the help you yet you backfight them… maybe because you were jealous.. I LOVE SALVATION ARMY.. FOREVER LOYAL!!

      Dec 30, 2011 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blood donation quotes
      blood donation quotes

      Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

      Jul 28, 2012 at 8:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Queerty now requires you to log in to comment

    Please log in to add your comment.

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.

  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.