The Salvation Army’s annual red kettle fundraising campaign is not getting a ringing endorsement from gays and lesbians.
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.
“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,” Bil Browning, editor-in-chief of The Bilerico Project, a national LGBT blog, wrote in a recent post titled "Why You Shouldn't Donate to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers."
"While you might think you're helping the hungry and homeless by dropping a few dollars in the bright red buckets, not everyone can share in the donations. Many LGBT people are rejected by the evangelical church charity because they're ‘sexually impure.'”
“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."
The Salvation Army, a charitable evangelical Christian organization that provides aid and services to the needy, denies that it discriminates against anyone...It sounds as though gay groups aren't anti-Sally Ann so much as they are anti-bible. In which case, it's abundantly clear who the real bigots are.