The Salvation Army defends itself in its views of homosexuality even as gay and lesbian groups are urging people not to donate money to their red kettle drive this holiday season.
Several members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community claim that the Salvation Army preaches intolerance of homosexuality, since the group clearly states that they do not believe that the homosexual lifestyle is in accordance with Biblical scripture.
The Salvation Army's website states:
"Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage."
The group does, however, go on to say:
"Likewise, there is no scriptural support for demeaning or mistreating anyone for reason of his or her sexual orientation. The Salvation Army opposes any such abuse."
The Christian Post reports that Maj. George Hood, who is the national community relations secretary of the Salvation Army, recognizes that there will never be a complete meeting of the minds between the organization and the LGBT community. He also expressed that the organization has no plans to change their beliefs, any more than gay groups would change theirs.
The organization reportedly has a long history of lobbying governments around the world for supposed anti-gay policies.
According to the Huffington Post, Bill Browning states on the Bilerico Project:
"The Salvation Army has a history of active discrimination against gays and lesbians. While you might think you're helping the hungry and homeless by dropping a few dollars in the bright red buckets, not everyone can share in the donations."
Members of the gay community are suggesting that people donate to pro-LGBT organizations, such as the American Red Cross or the Trevor Project.
The Salvation Army, a Protestant Christian organization, says that the LGBT community has called for boycotts over the past few years. In spite of that, the organization has seen an increase in donations. They claim that they were able to raise $142 million last year, a 5% increase over the previous year.