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Salvation Army Uses Homeless To Fight Gay Benefits

New York City — The Salvation Army is threatening to close soup kitchens for tens of thousands of New York's homeless and walk away from other projects if the city enacts legislation requiring firms that do business with New York to offer health benefits to the partners of gay staffers. 

The evangelical faith is prepared to give up the $70 million a year in city funding it receives and pull out of New York entirely the New York Post reports.

With soup kitchens, shelters, foster care programs, and HIV services the Salvation Army is one of the largest private aid groups in New York serving some 5 million people annually.

The Salvation Army has several multiyear contracts with the city totaling $250 million. Six city contracts worth $12.8 million are to expire June 30, by which time the bill may be law.

New York City council overwhelmingly approved the legislation earlier this month, and it is sitting on the desk of mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg is opposed to the bill, even though his own company offers partner benefits.  Even if the mayor vetoes the legislation, the support in council is considered sufficient to override it.

Quoting "Salvation Army insiders" the Post said the organization will refuse to comply with the proposed law because it goes against one of the organization's core beliefs - that same-sex marriage is immoral.

"The Army will not change its policy," said one official, who declined to be named. 

"You cannot change theological views. Those are so deeply embedded, they form the root of the faith itself."

by Doug Windsor
365Gay.com Newscenter
New York Bureau
©365Gay.com® 2004
This article originally appeared on 365gay.com. Republished with permission.
 
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like it or not a faith does have the right to say who they want in it and appose what it considers immoral just as the boy scouts have a right to say no to gay scouters live with it
Posted by jim on Wed, 12/23/2009 3:20 AM
jim on Wednesday, 12/23/2009

like it or not a faith does have the right to say who they want in it and appose what it considers immoral just as the boy scouts have a right to say no to gay scouters live with it
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; NOT when public funds are being used, they haven't that right to refuse help to anyone.
Posted by SpikeBon on Thu, 12/24/2009 6:03 PM
@SpikeBon
Actually, they have *every* right (legally *and* morally) to refuse help to anyone.

It is that very right which liberal NY legislators are attempting to take from them, hence forcing the Salvation Army to bring the hammer down.
Posted by Manx on Tue, 3/2/2010 4:25 AM
They receive public funding, they can help whoever they want, but do it without public funding. Boom!
Posted by GWXCORE on Thu, 10/21/2010 9:06 PM
Honestly, the issue is obvious. If the Salvation Army wants to refuse help to anybody, the only financial situation in which it is acceptable is if it is funded privately. Public funding goes to help the public - ALL of the public. You want to refuse aid? Refuse public funding.
Posted by Guest on Sun, 10/24/2010 1:12 PM
Please don't support this hate. Please don't give to the bell ringers and call the store fronts and have them removed.
Posted by Beachguy on Mon, 11/22/2010 9:16 AM
If they want taxpayer money, they have to obey the law. Catholic Charities in D.C. threw the same hateful tantrum, and the District merely found someone else to contract for social services with. Salvation Army ain't the only game in town. I'm sure in these hard times that plenty of charitable orgs will be glad to take the contracts and abide by laws requiring equal treatment.
Posted by Keori on Mon, 11/22/2010 10:30 AM
Good. They can leave, then. Let ACTUALLY MORAL entities do the work of caring for ALL of New York's needy citizens, without judgement, free of dogma. Charity is Unconditional Giving.
Posted by Sparkplug on Mon, 11/22/2010 12:29 PM
I don't care how embedded this is. Even the POPE gave permission to use condoms, no one would have ever believed it!!! I am so sick and tired of the religious right to try and override our basic freedoms. I hope ever one who is against this, stops having affairs, talking dirty, judging other (hypocrisy) people for wearing too much makeup or how much cleveage one might show. I am a VERY BIG supporter of the Salvation Army, HOWEVER, I will "march" my Army self out of the store and never return to donate or buy or help out.
Posted by Dee Dee Bradford on Mon, 11/22/2010 2:48 PM
What a pity!!! I am now going to have to boycott one of my favorite stores. That would be the only MORAL thing for me to do.
Posted by Ruth on Mon, 11/22/2010 4:59 PM
Sad. So give to Housing Works instead. They're a better organization anyway.
Posted by Richard on Tue, 11/23/2010 12:36 AM
exactly what jesus would do, no doubt.
Posted by rio on Tue, 11/23/2010 11:22 AM
I grew up in the SA (in the UK) and am ashamed that the modern SA Social Services can be so compassionless! I was always taught that, no matter what a person's beliefs or inclinations morally or sexually were, to show Charity and Compassion to those that needed it was more important than making "moral" religious judgements in this vein. I learned a lot about love and compassion watching my parents, who were SA Officers all their lives, give their all to make people in need find comfort and succour. Shame on the SA NYC for their insensitive and heartless attitude.
Posted by chrisopera on Tue, 11/23/2010 3:23 PM
It is their right to reject things that are against their faith. They are a faith based organization. Why is everyone yelling over this instead of making plans on how to take up the slack of an organization who does all this work only to be ridiculed and berated for the very faith that leads them into this ministry.
No one is stopping other organizations from bidding for the job. Salvation Army was just the lowest bidder. Maybe the ACLU can do it. They make lots of money suing these types of organizations for their beliefs. There have to be many organizations who can take over this job with beliefs that will allow sames sex partners to get benefits. If not then I guess NY is shooting itself in the foot. They will just have to build a bureaucracy to take over the job. We all know how economical that will be.
Posted by Michele56 on Tue, 11/23/2010 4:36 PM
Yeah, I have to say I don't necessarily think it's a horrible idea for them to move on if they don't feel comfortable with that legislation. I, myself, am completely in support of LGBT rights, and especially partner benefits, but if this organization can't take the heat, it should definitely get out of the kitchen. And MICHEL56 has a point, why not band together and form a new organization that does what the S.A. does while still supporting gay rights?
Posted by araehunter on Wed, 11/24/2010 7:30 AM
How will them closing their doors help the lost? Paul says much to this issue. I think they should keep their doors open and serve the community as they have been called to do.

If they can not do that with the love of Christ and his strength surrounding them, then by all means, close the doors and move on to something else.

Paul has many words about this in 1 Corinthians. I challenge the Salvation Army of New York to work in what may be darkness to them and not run from it...
-Jackie
Posted by Jackie on Sun, 11/28/2010 2:28 PM
Another organization can take over the soup kitchens using the funding from the government. Perhaps a group who doesn't use superstition to justify discrimination.
Posted by tuffby on Sat, 11/26/2011 6:39 PM
No one is asking them to change their faith, but only to stop discriminating against this particular minority. If they refused benefits to spouses who happen to be black, would any one support them? Let them discriminate on their own dime NO public money should go to them or any similar group. Bigotry wrapped in religion is still bigotry.
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