Friday, November 25, 2011

Boycott The Salvation Army - help a charity without prejudice

As the holidays approach, the Salvation Army bell ringers are out in front of stores dunning shoppers for donations. If you care about gay rights, you'll skip their bucket in favor of a charity that doesn't actively discriminate against the LGBT community.

The Salvation Army has a history of active discrimination against gays and lesbians. Many LGBT people are rejected by the evangelical church charity because they're "sexually impure."

On its webpage, the group claims that "the services of The Salvation Army are available to all who qualify, without regard to sexual orientation." While the words are nice, their actions speak volumes. They blatantly ignore the position statement and deny LGBT people services unless they renounce their sexuality, end same-sex relationships, or, in some cases, attend services "open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army's doctrine and discipline." In other words, if you're gay or lesbian, you don't qualify.

The organization also has a record of actively lobbying governments worldwide for anti-gay policies - including an attempt to make consensual gay sex illegal. (Yes, you're paying lobbyists with those donations.)

Instead of donating to the Salvation Army, choose a different charity that will help everyone without prejudice. Find a local secular charity - or here are some national organizations that provide help to anyone who needs it:

Goodwill (disabled and unemployed)
The Red Cross (medical and emergency relief)
Doctors Without Borders (medical and emergency relief)
Habitat for Humanity (homelessness and housing)

And if you are here in the Las Vegas area, my personal charity of choice, The Saint Therese Center, helps hundred of HIV/AIDS affected people every year - without judgement. I highly recommend you check them out and send your charity dollars there.
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