Ellie Goulding has threatened to pull out of the upcoming Thanksgiving Day Dallas Cowboys v.s. Buffalo Bills game halftime show unless the Salvation Army, who are launching the debut of their annual Red Kettle Campaign at the event, make “a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community.” Goulding stated that she learned about the organization’s troubled history with the LGBT community after fans pointed it out on an Instagram post showing a picture of her volunteering with the charity,
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Ok so maybe hairnet not my strongest look but thank you @salvationarmyus for having us in New York. As you know, I have spent a lot of time in shelters in London, and this was my first time in NYC… The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need. I sat and spoke to several people who had come in from the bitter cold for some food (they serve to over 150 per day here) , warmth and perhaps a chat with one of the volunteers. 🙏🏼
“Upon researching this, I have reached out to The Salvation Army and said that I would have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community,” Goulding explained in a statement. “I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do. Thank you for drawing my attention to this.”
The Salvation Army has a history of lobbying against LGBT reforms. A New Zealand chapter of the organization campaigned against the Homosexual Law Reform Act, which repealed the law criminalizing sex between adult men in 1986 (which they later apologized for), and in 1998 the organization reportedly turned down $3.5 million in contracts with the city of San Francisco, resulting in the closure of programs for the homeless and senior citizens in the city. The organization reportedly backed out of the deal with the city due to a requirement which maintained that city contractors must provide spousal benefits to both same-sex partners and opposite-sex partners of employees.
The Huffington Post also reported that the organization allegedly fired a worker after discovering their bisexuality back in 2012. That same year a Salvation Army spokesperson George Hood reportedly stated: “A relationship between same-sex individuals is a personal choice that people have the right to make. But from a church viewpoint, we see that going against the will of God.”
Despite its history, Salvation Army National Commander David Hudson maintains that the organization does not promote discrimination
“With an organization of our size and history, myths can perpetuate. An individual’s sexual or gender identity, religion, or lifestyle has no bearing on our willingness to provide service,” Hudson explained. “We stand firmly behind our mission to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”