OpEd – The Salvation Army Doesn’t Ring the Gay Bell
Columnist, Barb’s Gift of Gab
Since the Salvation Army is on every street corner and outside every store with their little red kettles trying to reach your heartstrings at this time of the year, I’m thinking perhaps this is the right time to fill you in on the do-gooders who aren’t really such good doers.
Let me state upfront that the Salvation Army has done good work – I don’t deny this – what I’m saying is this… If you’re gay or you support gay rights – you should not put money in the little red kettles.
The Salvation Army has a history of discrimination against gays and lesbians here in the States and elsewhere in the world. Yes, they do offer their services to all who are in need, however if you are a practicing homosexual (having sex) then you are ineligible for full membership in the Salvation Army.
They also believe if you are a Christian and you are attracted to members of the same sex you should embrace celibacy as a way of life. In other words – if you’re gay and having sex – you can’t work for them.
There are also documented cases of pure discrimination of gays and lesbians who went to the Salvation Army for help.
The gay couple was told that help would only come if they broke up and the lesbian couple and their children were told that they had two choices: One of the lesbian women could live on the street and the Salvation Army shelter would take the other lesbian and the children or… they could all sleep on the street.
The Salvation Army also gave money here in California to help Prop 8 halt the marriage rights of gays and lesbians.
Yes, I’m aware that The Salvation Army is a Christian organization whose roots are deep in the teachings of the Bible.
And yes, I’m also aware that The Salvation Army is considered a “church” and thus entitled to all the tax-exempt and other misguided “gifts” our government deems to bestow upon them.
And yes, I do understand that they have every right to make their own rules and serve whomever they please. It doesn’t mean that I have to agree or that I can’t voice my total disgust with their system.
Maybe it’s just me – but I believe that an organization that labels itself a charity and collects money from anyone and everyone – should in turn give services to anyone and everyone.
If I were to place money in one of those little red kettles would that bell-ringer ask me first is I was a member of the LGBTQ Community? Would the money fly back out of the kettle because it was “unclean?” Of course not – they take the money from everyone. But if my partner Susan and I needed their help – help would not be forthcoming without some sort of straight hoop for us to jump through.
So, just to be clear… LGBTQ money is perfectly fine to flow through the Salvation Army – but the LGBTQ Community is not worthy to partake in what help flows from our own contributions. Does this make any sense to you – on any level?
Try and imagine how you would feel if you needed help and were turned away from a shelter simply because of who you are and who it is you fell in love with. Charity is defined as something given to a person in need, there’s nothing in the definition about exceptions for the LGBTQ Community. These exceptions belong entirely to The Salvation Army.
If you are considering where to give your money this year, I’m asking you to walk past the little red kettles, and please consider your local food bank, or Habitat for Humanity or any of the many different charities who offer help without any sort of prejudice.
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