The LGBT magazine “Out” has set its sights on Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, after a photo surfaced of him smiling while standing in front of the Salvation Army’s signature red kettle during a charity drive.
“It’s nice to see politicians using their platforms to give back to their communities during the holiday season — except when they do it with organizations that historically exclude LGBTQ+ people,” writes the magazine.
“The gesture would be super nice of Buttigieg if the Salvation Army didn’t have a well-documented history of discriminating against LGBTQ+ people in need,” the magazine continues, and proceeds to mention that, in 2012, Salvation Army spokesperson George Hood told the Chicago Tribune that same-sex relationships run “against the will of God.”
The magazine, however, omits that Hood was speaking from the perspective of the Church and theology, and the fact that Hood also claimed a “relationship between same-sex individuals is a personal choice that people have the right to make.”
At the time, the Chicago Tribune even noted that the “Salvation Army has stressed that discrimination on the basis of gender identification and sexual orientation is forbidden in its services, programs and nonclergy employment,” and that it has a policy of reporting such incidences of discrimination. The news organization also mentions that the organization has made a habit of reaching out to LGBT groups to “try to find ways to work together.”
Although myths about the Salvation Army have endured, the organization has been proactive about informing the public of misinformation as it has arisen.
As the Daily Wire previously reported, last month English singer Ellie Goulding threatened to cancel a halftime show at an upcoming Dallas Cowboys football game, at which the Salvation Army was running a charity drive, after her fans misguidedly informed her that the organization is anti-gay.
“Upon researching this, I have reached out to The Salvation Army and said that I would have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community,” responded Goulding, according to Fox 4. “I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do.”
But the controversy was short-lived, and Goulding promptly changed her mind about not performing after the Salvation Army assured her about all the work they do for the LGBT community.
“We’d like to thank Ellie Goulding and her fans for shedding light on misconceptions and encouraging others to learn the truth about The Salvation Army’s mission to serve all, without discrimination,” said Commissioner David Hudson, National Commander of the Salvation Army, as reported by Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“We applaud her for taking the time to learn about the services we provide to the LGBTQ community. Regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, we’re committed to serving anyone in need,” continued Hudson. “Every day, we provide services such as shelter for the transgender community and resources for homeless youth — 40 percent of whom identify as gay or transgender.”
“Ellie’s performance in the 23rd annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Kickoff during the Dallas Cowboys game Thanksgiving Day on CBS will kick off a season of giving that helps support these and many other programs and services throughout the country.”