LGBT advocates say skip the Salvation Army bell ringers

Fri. November 25, 2011 8:17 AM by News Staff

With the approach of the holiday season many people consider giving to those in need, but a number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy groups are reminding shoppers to think twice before giving to the Salvation Army.

The Bilerico Project says skip the Salvation Army bell ringers in favor of a charity "that doesn't actively discriminate against the LGBT community."

According to Bilerico, the Salvation Army has a history of active discrimination against gays and lesbians, which includes actively lobbying for anti-gay legislation and policies.

The Salvation Army will not offer LGBT people services unless they renounce their sexuality and end same-sex relationships.

Chicagoan and long-time gay rights activists Rick Garcia recalls when the Salvation Army lead the charge against New Zealand's gay rights reform bill in 1986. At that time, the Salvation Army collected signatures in an attempt to kill legislation that would decriminalize consensual sex between gay men.

Instead of a donation to the Salvation Army's Red Kettle fundraiser, Think Progress encourages a donation to an HIV/AIDS organization as advocates brace for potential cuts in funding from the Federal government.

Many charities account for between 30 and 60 percent of their annual contributions during the final quarter of the year.