Please Don’t Support the Salvation Army

It’s an anti-LGBTQ Church

James Finn
Nov 27, 2018 · 5 min read
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I’m a Christmas kind of guy.

I love the season! Snow, tinsel, lights, trees. All the traditions make me feel warm and happy. Love, family, common humanity, charity — all these are elements of Christmas for me. The sound of bells really lights up my Christmas spirit.

I don’t donate anymore, and I’d like to ask you to stop too —

Did you know that when you give money to the Salvation Army, you’re giving money to a church? Did you know that the Church is viciously homophobic and transphobic, fighting all over the world for the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people?

What Salvation Army thinks about LGBTQ people, in their own words —

The Salvation Army’s anti-LGBTQ history is long and deadly

They’ve lobbied all over the world, including in Scotland, the United States, and New Zealand, for the political curtailment of equal rights for queer people. They’ve discriminated against their own employees, and they’ve allowed LGBTQ people to die rather than provide equal services.

  • In Scotland, the Church recently fought to keep references to LGBTQ people out of school curricula.
  • In New Zealand, the Church led efforts to keep sexual relations between adult men a criminal offense.
  • The Church promoted the debunked and dangerous practice of conversion therapy for years on its websites all over the world, featuring links to “ex-gay” programs. While the links began to be removed in 2013, the Church still privately refers young people to such toxic “therapy.”
  • In the US, the Church fought for the right to withhold health-care coverage to same-sex spouses of their employees.
  • The Church has a long history of firing employees upon discovering that they are lesbian, gay, or transgender.
  • In 2016, the Church refused to back a Safe Schools initiative to combat anti-LGBTI bullying, characterizing it as “toxic” and “pro-homosexual.”
  • In just one example of many, the Church let trans woman Jennifer Gale freeze to death outside one of their homeless shelters rather than shelter her with other women.
  • While the Church touts the tiny number of dedicated shelters they’ve opened for LGBTQ people, they fail to mention that they don’t provide equal services to LGBTQ people in their other shelters.
  • The Church was caught in a sting operation in New York City in 2017, subjecting transgender people to humiliating physical examinations and discrimination in housing at a substance-abuse treatment center — in violation of their public service contracts.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without charity —

  • The Sylvia Rivera Law Project — Works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence.
  • Trans Lifeline — A national trans-led organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. Our vision is to fight the epidemic of trans suicide and improve overall life-outcomes of trans people by facilitating justice-oriented, collective community aid.
  • Housing Works — Fights for funding and legislation to ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, HIV prevention, and treatment, among other lifesaving services.
  • National Center for Transgender Equality — Advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice.
  • The Trevor Project — If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline now at 1–866–488–7386.
  • GLSEN — Championing LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990.
  • Your local LGBTQ center — Find it here.

I often write that religion is no excuse for homophobia.

I hope that can extend to faith being no excuse to give money to a virulently homophobic church that’s trying to whitewash its harmful and inhumane beliefs. Will you join me this holiday season in giving to different charities?

James Finn - The Blog

Collected Writings. Stories and ramblings from a long-time LGBTQ thinker and activist.

James Finn

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

James Finn - The Blog

Collected Writings. Stories and ramblings from a long-time LGBTQ thinker and activist.

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