Homosexuals Are Boycotting, of All Places, the Salvation Army. I Never Thought I Would See the Day
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"The Salvation Army refused to help us," Mr. Browning recalls, "unless we broke up and then left the 'sinful homosexual lifestyle' behind. We slept on the street, and they didn't help when we declined to break up at their insistence."
Mr. Browning's boyfriend was wearing a "Silence = Death" AIDS pin on his jacket, which must have tipped off the Salvation Army worker. "He told us we needed to be saved," Mr. Browning says. "If we were willing to attend church services, he could help. We would have to break up, only one of us could stay in the shelter, and if there was room for the other, he would have to be on the opposite side of the room, and we wouldn't even look at each other."
Now Mr. Browning, a writer and gay rights advocate, is using his blog to publicize a decade-old boycott of the Salvation Army. The boycott's proponents say those who drop money into the Salvation Army's ubiquitous red kettles at Christmastime, or shop in its thrift stores, often know little about the organization's evangelical Christianity, its opposition to homosexuality, and its occasional attempts to influence public policy on gay rights.
On his Web site, Mr. Browning, whom the Christian magazine World recently called "the Red Kettle Menace," encourages people to donate instead to other organizations, like the Red Cross or Doctors without Borders. When he passes by the red kettles, he sometimes drops in pieces of imitation money that he says have circulated among gay activists for about 10 years.
One version of the money looks like a real dollar bill, but its
(obviously fake) denomination is three dollars, it carries a rainbow
flag, and it bears the words, in small print: "When the Salvation Army
ends its policy of religious bigotry and discrimination against gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, then, and only then, will this
be a real dollar bill."
Source: MARK OPPENHEIMER, The New York Times
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