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.