Friday, December 15, 2017

Should LGBT People Be Supporting the Salvation Army?

Giving is an important part of the holiday season, and one of the most visible ways of giving is the bell-ringing men and women of the Salvation Army seemingly outside every retail space on the planet. But should LGBT people be giving to this organization. We've all heard stories they are homophobic and transphobic, but they say not anymore.

The Advocate reports:

The organization’s record and policies regarding LGBT people have long been a subject of contention. Some gay activists and journalists have accused the Salvation Army of anti-LGBT discrimination over the years, such as one who said the organization two decades ago ordered him to break up with his boyfriend if they wanted to receive services (they were homeless at the time). The Salvation Army eventually apologized, although not entirely to the journalist’s satisfaction. More recently, one of its substance abuse treatment centers in New York City was served with a complaint by the city’s Commission on Human Rights, charging it with anti-transgender discrimination in its intake policies.

[The organization’s national spokesman, Lt. Col. Ron] Busroe tells The Advocate the Salvation Army’s policy is to deliver services without discrimination against anyone, LGBT or otherwise. The organization was founded . . . to deliver a Christian message and material assistance to the poor and disenfranchised who wouldn’t come to a traditional church.

Today, it’s still definitely Christian, but it provides its social services to people of all faiths and identities, without proselytizing, Busroe says. “We’re not out there saying you need to become a Christian,” he says, although its ministerial staff will share the faith message with those who wish to hear it. Nor, he says, is there a requirement that the recipients of aid renounce an LGBT identity. (In 2013 it removed links to “ex-gay” groups from its website after the LGBT group Truth Wins Out complained.)

See full story here.

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