Blogs & Columns
2 min

Should gays boycott the Salvation Army?

The Salvation Army is run by an evangelical church, which, according to this website, is anti-gay. Despite saying "the services of the Salvation Army are available to all who qualify, regardless of sexual orientation," their actions speak louder than their words. The church reportedly denies the queer community services unless they renounce their sexuality. They claim to be "open to all who confess Christ as savior and who accept and abide by the Salvation Army's doctrine and discipline." The same doctrine that has lobbied against queer rights, even trying to make gay sex illegal! 

Here is some of the Salvation Army's sordid history and a video explaining more.

  • When New Zealand considered passage of the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986, the Salvation Army collected signatures in an attempt to have 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 The law has since been repealed, but it led many schools and colleges to shut down queer student organizations out of fear they'd lose their government funding.
  • In 2001, the organization tried to extract a resolution from the White House so that it could ignore local non-discrimination laws that protected queer 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 more than $24 billion in grants and tax deductions by urging the White House to deny funding to any cities or states that included sexual orientation non-discrimination laws. Ari Fleischer, the 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 the same as straight employees.
 
Bookmark and Share