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Becoming a Man:
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Paul Monette

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That's it for today!



22 November 2001

In July, I wrote this entry about the Salvation Army and its discriminatory policies toward homosexuals. In the entry, I wrote:

...when Christmas comes around this year and all those Santas take to the streets, I will have a card ready to slip into the pot. The card will let them know that I really wanted to contribute money for them to help the needy at Christmas time, but because of their homophobic philosophy, I have taken the money I would have donated and have given it, instead, to a local AIDS organization.

Saundra, of Headspace, read the idea, loved it, and passed it along to a lot of gay and gay-friendly organizations. The people in those organizations also thought it was a wonderful idea and the idea began to mushroom.

Today, I got a copy of Jerry Falwell's latest newsletter, which he starts like this:


Following last week's "Falwell Confidential" in which I reported on The Salvation Army's decision to rescind an order to offer health benefits for "domestic partners" or "one-domiciled adults" in 13 Western states, I have learned that homosexual-rights groups have threatened to picket and fill the organization's Red Kettle with "notes of protest" during this holiday season.

Hey! I've started a movement! A real live movement! I'm so proud!!!

When I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper  about this idea back in July, I got some protest letters, all of which talked about the good the Salvation Army does and how they don't refuse help to anybody, no matter what their sexual orientation.

I know the Salvation Army does a lot of good work. So do a lot of other organizations. But whether the Salvation Army doesn't refuse to help any gay person in need, they also have made it known that they won't hire a known homosexual, and now they are upholding their decision to refuse to extend health benefits to domestic partners of employees. (Based on the organizations prior statement that they refuse to hire homosexuals, one can only assume that this Army too operates on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy).

"We've been listening to our internal and external constituencies, and we now confirm adherence to biblical principles concerning marriage and the family,'' said Theresa Whitfield, the Salvation Army's media relations director.

* * *

"It establishes the organization as anti-gay, and in a country that's yearning to come together and heal, this was an extremely divisive move that I don't think will be looked on kindly,'' said David Smith, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign. "We're talking about health care, about providing health benefits, and what the Salvation Army has decided to do is prevent certain families from getting health care, and that's just mean.''

Once again, I point out that on September 11th, this country was attacked by people who did not share our beliefs, our values, our lifestyle. They took that hatred to the extreme, destroyed thousands of lives, and changed life in this country, probably forever.

The divisiveness that activities of organizations like the Salvation Army and the Boy Scouts of America (I'm always careful to point out that the United States is the ONLY branch of the International Boy Scouts which discriminates against homosexuals) creates is not on a par with a suicide flight into the World Trade Center. And yes, these organizations do lots of good works. However they also divide tax-paying American citizens into "us and them," and let a segment of the population know that they aren't worth the rest of the God-fearing Christians in the country.

I don't want to attack the good, well-meaning people of the Salvation Army or the dedicated leaders who only want to help (straight) boys have a good time. But there are an awful lot of organizations that do good works, that help the unfortunate and downtrodden, that work with youth, and who are accepting of all people.

My donation dollars are limited and if I have to choose between an organization that does good for some people but discriminates against others, and an organization that is accepting of all, my money will go to the non-discriminatory organization.

And when I see those Santas on the street ringing their bells for the Salvation Army, I will indeed drop in a note saying that because of the attitude and policies of the administration, my donation dollars will be spent helping some organization which assists HIV and AIDS affected people.

Let those who discriminate find out that there are consequences of actions and that no matter how worthwhile your end is, it doesn't justify the means. Bigotry is Bigotry, no matter how you attempt to pretty it up.

One Year Ago:
Living Through History

(Club Photo has started deleting
photo albums after 90 days,
so the photos which were once there,
have been removed now)

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Created 11/19/01 by Bev Sykes