Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-10-07
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


Salvation Army's views may partially explain donation decrease
by Joseph Erbentraut

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

While the Salvation Army's stance on homosexuality may not be a new point of contention for many LGBT activists, recent reports of a drastic drop-off in donations to the group's iconic Red Kettle Campaign in the Chicago area have elicited speculation that the group's anti-gay reputation may be putting a dent into its fundraising haul this holiday season.

According to a Dec. 13 Associated Press article, Chicagoland contributions to the Salvation Army's practically ubiquitous bell-and-kettle campaign, responsible for roughly 70 percent of the organization's funding, are down 13 percent over last year's numbers while demand for the group's services have shot up exponentially. In the story, Army spokeswoman Dee McKinsey blamed bad weather and the stunted economy for the campaign only netting $4.1 million, compared to $4.6 million during the same time period last year.

But some LGBT activists suggest the lower numbers are due to Chicagoans becoming increasingly aware of the army's opposition to same-sex relationships and history of lobbying against pro-gay legislation and carrying out questionable hiring practices.

According to the Salvation Army's website, the group "does not consider same-sex orientation blameworthy in itself" and opposes "demeaning or mistreating" anyone. Nonetheless, the group advises gays and lesbians to "embrace celibacy as a way of life" because "Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex."

In 2004, the army's New York chapter threatened to close the city's soup kitchens and end its services to the homeless there if the local government passed legislation forcing it to offer health benefits to partners of their gay employees. In 2001, the group ceased offering domestic-partner benefits to all its California employees since some benefits were being received by same-sex couples. That same year, the group unsuccessfully attempted to pressure Bush administration staff into easing LGBT non-discrimination laws for faith-based groups.

While the organization's policy on LGBT issues also states that its services are available to all who qualify, regardless of sexual orientation, and that their fellowship is open to "all sincere seekers of faith in Christ," presumably including queer people of faith, Rainbow Sash Movement executive director Joe Murray described the Army's use of Biblical text to justify not hiring openly gay employees or recognizing LGBT relationships as "obscene."

"Whether they're conscious of it or not, this is blanket discrimination against gay families," Murray told Windy City Times. "It's plain and simple discrimination ... People in our community and our allies need to be aware that there are religious groups out there promoting discrimination and doing it in the name of good works.

"That is hypocritical," Murray added, noting that many organizations within the LGBT community, such as the Howard Brown Health Center, are also in dire need of support at this time and represent a far more LGBT-friendly recipient of donations.

Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network, described the army's policy as sending "a mixed message, at best." He said the group's practices are representative of a larger problem of several faith-based agencies in the Chicago area who are contracted by the city to provide social services while, at the same time, violating the city's LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination employment law.

Thayer said he would like to see a city law that would eliminate faith-based exemptions for groups like the army and Catholic Charities under contract to prove certain city services. Meanwhile, he hoped the city's queer community will continue to "bring the Salvation Army's bigotry out of the closet."

"We need to call them out and make them pay a price for [this]. These groups like to run stealth campaigns, having their cake and eating it too," Thayer said. "They want to practice their bigotry, but at the same time, they'll project a public image of just being another warm and fuzzy charity that people should give to. ... We need to label them as the bigots that they are."

At press time, the Salvation Army's Chicago area office did not return Windy City Times' calls for comment for this story.

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Report looks at implications of religious exemption laws 2015-09-01
National: Hillary; Texas hate crime; Trump; 18th trans murder 2015-08-25
Designer Dolce apologizes for comment 2015-08-18 signs off on petitions with hate speech 2015-08-11
McCarter introduces 'religious freedom' bill 2015-08-10
Obama makes pro-gay remarks in Kenya 2015-07-26
HRC releases discrimination map 2015-07-22
THEATER REVIEW Whatever 2015-07-22 signs off on petitions with hate speech 2015-07-17
Man arrested for hate motivated violence resulting in death 2015-07-08
Global homophobia report released 2015-07-01
Texas victim of a hate motivated violence dies 2015-06-30
IHRC orders $30,000 penalty from Fair Housing Violator 2015-06-25
Kyrgyzstan passes draft anti-LGBT propaganda bill worse than Russia's law 2015-06-24
Lambda condemns religious refusal bills in Michigan and North Carolina 2015-06-11
Nat'l report out on hate violence against LGBTQ, HIV-affected communities 2015-06-09
Amendment to hate crimes law clears General Assembly 2015-05-24
State's attorney's office launches hate-crimes council 2015-03-31
State's Attorney Alvarez steps up efforts on hate crimes 2015-03-12
Upcoming events: Internat'l Women's Dance; gays on 'Hate in America'; Knuckles film 2015-02-18
Urban Outfitters markets tapestry with Nazi-era anti-gay imagery 2015-02-10
World: Turing notebook; ISIS killing gays; king makes history 2015-01-27
Religious extremists target bakers with requests for 'God Hates Fags' cakes 2015-01-22
IGLHRC, MADRE on alleged executions for sodomy by ISIS in Iraq 2015-01-21
Pope speaks against same-sex marriage 2015-01-18
HRC suspends Saks' Corporate Equality Index score 2015-01-09
Thirty-five injured in Zimbabwe; Gambia arrests for 'homosexual acts' 2014-12-31
World news: Burger King kiss-in; British poll; 'Doctor Who' 2014-12-30
Marine charged with transgender woman's murder 2014-12-17
Report: LGBT Americans still face inequality 2014-12-14
Salvation Army's LGBT stance improves, yet problems persist 2014-12-10
Murder of LA trans woman is 12th anti-trans murder in 2014 2014-12-05
Groups condemn police violence, urge NYPD accountability 2014-12-03
Chicago police violence against Black, Latino youth focus of UN committee 2014-12-01
LGBTs react to Ferguson decision 2014-11-26
Courage Campaign: CTA aims to eliminate street harassment 2014-11-24
Survey: LGBT youth in Illinois often hear anti-LGBT remarks 2014-11-13
President Obama releases statement on anniv. of Hate Crimes Act 2014-11-07
Putin is The Advocate's 'Person of the Year' 2014-11-07
Decalogue Society of Lawyers hosts hate-crimes forum 2014-11-04

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.