Gay-rights groups are urging a boycott of donations to the iconic holiday bell-ringers,
saying the Salvation Army has a history of discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people --
a charge the charity denies.
On the streets of New Orleans (a rather colorful town with even more colorful people) after Katrina, I never saw the Salvation Army turn ANY ONE AWAY no matter their lifestyle or life choices.
All that mattered was that they were in need.
Many of the the Salvation Army workers had lost their homes. Nonetheless they were still serving fellow victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Salvation Army didn't need to wait until New Orleans was declared a Disaster Area --
they were already there. They saw need. They helped as best as their finances would allow. Finances that certain groups would wither.
“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, co-founder, Gay Liberation Network, told msnbc.com in an email.
"Of all the very many, often bizarre, prohibitions mentioned in Leviticus, the Army chooses to single out and promote the few prohibitions against gays, which suggests to us that it is bigotry, not literal Bible belief, that motivates their actions."
"Nothing can be further from the truth," Lt. Col. Ralph Bukiewicz, divisional commander of the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division, told msnbc.com on Wednesday.
The charitable organization notes that its services are available to all who qualify, without regard to sexual orientation.
“In our policies, in our practices, in our programs and in our eligibility for any service within the Salvation Army,
there is not a request for any details concerning sexual orientation,” says Bukiewicz.
He further added, "there is no scriptural support for demeaning or mistreating anyone for reason of his or her sexual orientation.
The Salvation Army opposes any such abuse.”
I have stated that I am giving 100% of the profits for THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH and UNDER A VOODOO MOON to the New Orleans Salvation Army.
After reading of this boycott, I am giving 100% of the profits from ALL my books this November and December to the New Orleans branch of The Salvation Army.
Denying funds to The Salvation Army only hurts the already hurting that the organization helps in every major U.S. city.
Have we forgotten the true spirit of the Christmas Season?