Think Twice About Giving to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers

During the holiday season, the Salvation Army bell ringers are out in droves. You may know that the change you throw into their buckets will go to assisting many of the hungry and/or homeless folks in Portland this winter, but what you might not know is that none of those folks will be queer. The Salvation Army, an evangelical Christian charity, is actively homophobic and discriminatory toward LGBTQ people who seek their services, as well as our community as a whole. For these reasons, I urge you not to donate to them.

On their website, The Salvation Army speaks to the “standards and principles,” which all members are encouraged to review and reaffirm. Among a slew of position statements, there is one entitled  “homosexuality”, which explains that “sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage.” They go on to speak about how homosexuality is not “blameworthy in itself,” but that gay people should act “responsibly” by not acting upon our feelings. They explain, “The Salvation Army believes that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life.”

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