The Salvation Army is trying to rebrand itself as a gay-friendly charity ahead of its annual Christmas fundraising campaign.
The Christian homeless charity said accusations of anti-gay discrimination were a ‘myth’ despite reports to the contrary.
‘For years, Facebook posts, forwarded emails and rumors have been leading some people to believe that the Salvation Army does not serve members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,’ it said in a statement.
‘These accusations simply aren’t true.’
The charity also released a video of LGBTI testemonials.
‘My sexual orientation, nobody said a word about it. I anticipated it might come up at some point but it didn’t to be an issue for anyone,’ said one charity recipient.
However, stories of anti-gay discrimination have dogged the charity for years.
Most recently, a shelter in Texas refused to help a transgender woman and in 2012 an Australian Salvation Army major said gay people deserved death.
Until recently, the charity’s website said, ‘Same-sex relationships which are genitally expressed are unacceptable according to the teaching of scripture.’
Read the full statement and watch the video below:
‘For years, Facebook posts, forwarded emails and rumors have been leading some people to believe that the Salvation Army does not serve members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. These accusations simply aren’t true.
‘Since its founding nearly 150 years ago, the Salvation Army has lived out its mission: to meet human needs in His name, without discrimination. People who come to the army for assistance will be served according to their need and our capacity to help – regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
‘Any instance of discrimination is in direct opposition to our core beliefs and is against all of our policies. The Salvation Army embraces employees of many different faiths and orientations and abides by all applicable anti-discrimination laws in its hiring.
‘The Salvation Army is apolitical and concentrates its resources on providing relief and compassionate care to those in crisis. Any advocacy is done in regard to the services we provide and educating legislators on how government actions will impact those we serve.
‘We need your help in debunking the myth of LGBTQ discrimination. It can persuade people not to give, which in turn diminishes our resources and our ability to serve people in crisis.’