In the spirit of the holidays, avoid the Salvation Army at all costs

Em Craig, Editor-in-Chief

One of the popular images surrounding the holiday season is that of the Salvation Army workers standing outside grocery stores, ringing a bell

The Salvation Army has included in their mission statement, located on their website that “people who come to [them] for assistance will be served according to their need and [the Salvation Army’s] capacity to help – regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.”

However, the organization has been known throughout the years to partake in discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.

An article published in the Huffington Post listed the following as some of the discriminatory offenses made by the Salvation Army, dating all the way back to 1998 in the United States:

“1998 — The Salvation Army of the United States chose to turn down $3.5 million in contracts with the city of San Francisco, resulting in the closure of programs for the homeless and senior citizens.

The church backed out of these contracts due to San Francisco’s requirement that city contractors must provide spousal benefits to both same-sex partners and opposite-sex partners of employees.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Love stated: We simply cannot agree to be in compliance of the ordinance.

In 2004, the Salvation Army in New York City also threatened to close down all of its services for the city’s homeless due to a similar non-discrimination ordinance.

2001 — The Salvation Army of the United States attempted to make a deal with the Bush administration ensuring that religious charities receiving federal funding would be exempt from any local ordinances banning anti-gay discrimination.

Church spokesman David A. Fuscus explained that the group did not want to extend medical benefits to same-sex partners of its employees.”

In an effort to dispel these ‘rumors,’ as the Salvation Army North, serving North Dakota and Minnesota, says, the organization released this statement, as well as others:

“The Salvation Army is open and inclusive to all people. Anyone who comes through our doors will receive help based on their need and our capacity to assist. We annually serve around 30 million Americans from a variety of backgrounds – we do not pick and choose who we serve based on religion, sexual orientation or any other factor. This promise to serve goes to the core of our beliefs as laid out in our organizational” (

So, instead of donating to the Salvation Army the next time you see them outside Market Basket, consider donating to one of the organizations suggested by OUT Magazine: Housing Works; The Ali Forney Center; Sylvia Rivera Law Project; The Audre Lorde Project; TGI Justice Project; and The Trevor Project.