Sunday, November 27, 2016

Boycott

Sometimes we go overboard on declaring a boycott (most of the time I don’t even shop at the place that is being boycott so it makes it hard for me to boycott it) but this is one I do boycott.
The apology to LGBTQ people that the Salvation Army won’t release
LGBTQ Nation
By Bil Browning
November 19, 2015

Last year, Queerty exposed two internal Salvation Army USA documents that lays out exactly how the religious org planned to battle the negative publicity from my campaign to get them to apologize for their anti-LGBTQ past.

After reading the memos describing their plan for a “strategy of containment” that includes whitewashing their past, confusing potential donors, and refusing to take responsibility for their horrendous history of discrimination, it seems appropriate to release exactly what they don’t want revealed: the public apology that the church leadership refuses to issue.

In two separate documents, the Salvation Army clearly is more interested in using PR spin to deflect attention and make LGBTQ people doubt whether or not the group’s history is worthy of an apology. In a 24-page memo titled “2014 Nondiscrimination Communications & Protocols,” the org’s public relations department spells out exactly how local and regional branches of the not-for-profit should respond to critics.

“In April 2013, The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board adopted an aggressive issues management plan, with specific emphasis on addressing allegations of discrimination on on [sic] ongoing basis,” the document reads under a section marked “Preparations.” It notes that “The Salvation Army NHQ communications team and Richards Partners have held issue briefings and media training workshops in 2013 and 2014 for more than 150 of the highest ranking officers and respective public relations officials.”
Why I boycott the Salvation Army, Bil Browning wrote in Bilerico,
Since 1986 the Salvation Army has engaged in five major assaults on the LGBT community's civil rights and attempted to carve out exemptions that would allow them to deny gays and lesbians needed services as well as employment.
  • When New Zealand considered passage of the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986, the Salvation Army collected signatures in an attempt to get the legislation killed. The act decriminalized consensual sex between gay men. The measure passed over the charity's objections.
  • In the United Kingdom, the Salvation Army actively pushed passage of an amendment to the Local Government Act. The amendment stated that local authorities "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship." The law has since been repealed, but it led many schools and colleges to close LGBT student organizations out of fear they'd lose their government funding.
  • In 2001, the organization tried to extract a resolution from the White House that they could ignore local non-discrimination laws that protected LGBT people. While the commitment would have applied to all employees, the group claimed that it needed the resolution so it "did not have to ordain sexually active gay ministers and did not have to provide medical benefits to the same-sex partners of employees." After lawmakers and civil rights activists revealed the Salvation Army's active resistance to non-discrimination laws, the White House admitted the charity was seeking the exemptions.
  • Also in 2001, the evangelical charity actively lobbied to change how the Bush administration would distribute over $24 billion in grants and tax deductions by urging the White House deny funding to any cities or states that included LGBT non-discrimination laws. Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary, issued a statement saying the administration was denying a "regulation sought by the church to protect the right of taxpayer-funded religious organizations to discriminate against homosexuals."
  • In 2004, the Salvation Army threatened to close all their soup kitchens in New York City to protest the city's decision to require all vendors and charities doing business with the city to adhere to all civil rights laws. The organization balked at having to treat gay employees equal to straight employees.
I've seen the discrimination the Salvation Army preaches first hand. When a former boyfriend and I were homeless, the Salvation Army insisted we break up before they'd offer assistance. We slept on the street instead and declined to break up as they demanded.
Okay what after Mr. Browning wrote that is why I boycott SA, back in 2014 I wrote…
How Can They Do This?
Down in Texas the Salvation Army did it again! They turned away a trans-person from their homeless shelter in Dallas.
Salvation Army Refuses Housing Shelter To Transgender Woman
ThinkProgess
By Zack Ford
May 4, 2014

Back in March, Jodielynn Wiley fled her life in Paris, Texas. Because she is transgender, she had received death threats and had found dead animals left on her front porch. When she asked the police for help, they told her, “Being the way you are, you should expect that.” Wiley landed in Dallas, where she found emergency shelter at the Carr P. Collins Social Service Center, run by the Salvation Army.

As she reached the end of her 30-day stay at the emergency shelter, Wiley sought other long-term shelter options. One such option was the a two-year housing program run by the Salvation Army, which several other women from the Collins Center had recently entered. According to the Dallas Voice, when she interviewed for the program with her case worker, Wiley was told she was disqualified because she had not had gender reassignment surgery: “After I said no, she said, ‘Well, that’s why we can’t give you a room. It was putting me in an uncomfortable situation and very rude.” Her counselor then changed the story and claimed that there was a waiting list, but Wiley says that two women who arrived at the emergency shelter after she did had already entered the longer program.
When you agree to take federal funding you agree to not discriminate, the Salvation Army; it seems to me that they agreed to take federal funding under false pretenses.
And then there is Jennifer Gale, a homeless trans woman who died after being turned away from a Salvation Army shelter.
Trans woman’s death shines light on plight of homeless
Dallas Voice
By John Wright
Posted on 23 Dec 2008

A day later, Equality Texas issued a press release saying Gale’s death can be directly attributed to a lack of homeless shelters that accept transgender people and house them according to their gender identity. Transgender people face higher rates of homelessness  due to things like employment discrimination, and shelters typically will house them only according to their biological gender.
[…]
Marti Bier, an aide for openly lesbian Austin City Councilwoman Randi Shade, said the only shelter in Austin that houses women overnight, operated by the Salvation Army, would’ve forced Gale to sleep and shower with men.
Do you want to donate to the homeless then I recommend donating to Journey Home, they work with the homeless but they also do not discriminate against LGBT people.


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