Friday, March 13, 2015

While We Are On The Subject Of Colleges,

Here is an interesting opinion article in USA Today’s Campus about the Salvation Army and an ad that they ran a couple of days ago,
Viewpoint: The Salvation Army is not inclusive of all women
By: Dani Marrero
March 13, 2015

An ambiguously colored dress went viral across the Internet recently,  as users debated whether “The Dress” was blue and black or white and gold.

Days later, The Salvation Army released an ad of a woman wearing a white and gold dress of the same style with bruises on her legs and face. The ad asks, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?”

It was a clever and strategic way to bring attention to violence against women.

However, just like #TheDress was a short-lived phenomenon, I suppose Internet users have also forgotten when The Salvation Army refused to provide housing to a transgender woman in 2014.
The Salvation Army released this campaign in efforts to protect women, yet it refused to acknowledge that transwoman’s identity last year. The Salvation Army wants to spread a message to stop violence against women, yet it failed and continues to fail protecting the most vulnerable women, those who are transgender.
Last year the Salvation Army reached an agreement not to proselytize or hold employee to any religious standards where they are receiving federal or state funding. According to the Huffington Post,
In 2010 a settlement was reached that barred the organization from proselytizing when working under a public contract, but the settlement denied any workplace discrimination and dismissed other "lesser" charges. The NYCLU appealed and continued to fight to address all the charges of violations of the U.S. Constitution.

This week the Salvation Army caved, and a new settlement has been reached, a settlement that upholds the separation of church and state and will no longer allow the organization to hold those they serve or those they employee to any religious standards while receiving taxpayer dollars. The organization will also pay $450,000 to two of the plaintiffs who were wrongfully terminated.
The Salvation Army receives millions in federal funding, around $188 million in New York alone, to run its homeless shelters, soup kitchens and after-school programs. Around 300 New York employees are paid with federal funds, according to the NYCLU.
Now the question is will they still ban trans women from women’s shelters and trans men from men’s shelters in light of the HUD guidelines about sheltering trans people which reads,
A recipient that operates a sex-segregated or sex-specific program should assign a beneficiary to the group or service which corresponds to the gender with which the beneficiary identifies, with the following considerations. In deciding how to house a victim, a recipient that provides sex-segregated housing may consider on a case-by-case basis whether a particular housing assignment would ensure the victim’s health and safety. A victim’s own views with respect to personal safety deserve serious consideration. The recipient should ensure that its services do not isolate or segregate victims based upon actual or perceived gender identity. A recipient may not make a determination about services for one beneficiary based on the complaints of another beneficiary when those complaints are based on gender identity.
In other words, we should be housed in the facility of our gender identity and if someone complains about us we should not penalized.

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