Boycott the Bell-ringers, Gay Activists Say

New York, NY – As Christmas shoppers flock to stores this weekend, the familiar sights and sounds of Salvation Army bell-ringers with red kettles will prompt many to toss in their coins and remember the less fortunate. But not everyone is in a giving mood.

MSNBC.com reported this week [http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/01/9143097-gay-groups-boycott-salvation-army-red-kettle-drive] that some LGBT activists are urging people to ignore the bell-ringers because the Salvation Army holds Biblical views that the activists claim are bigoted. The Salvation Army adamantly denies that it discriminates against anyone, including LGBT, who seeks its services or programs. Gay leaders are not satisfied.

Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network, said, “We are urging a boycott of the Salvation Army because it uses its selective interpretation of the Bible to promote discrimination against LGBT people in employment benefits and leadership positions within the Army.”

Thayer’s call is being echoed by gay leaders such as Bill Browning, editor-in-chief of the influential LGBT blog The Bilerico Project, who recently posted a piece titled, “Why You Shouldn’t Donate to the Salvation Army Bell-Ringers.”

Like most churches, the Salvation Army affirms the sanctity of traditional marriage. It also believes that it is wrong to demean or mistreat people for any reason, including sexual orientation.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, said the boycott is yet another example of political correctness punishing those who seek to share God’s unconditional love with the hurting. “It’s a sad day in America when gay rights become more important than giving to the needy,” he said. “Here’s a better idea: the next time you pass a Salvation Army bell-ringer, why not thank the volunteer and put a little extra in the kettle to make up for the LGBT grinches who will not be giving this year.”