I generally enjoy Christmas. I like the decorations, seeing family and friends, and I absolutely love the music.
One thing I don’t like about Christmas is the incessant sound of Salvation Army bells.
The Salvation Army is a Christian organization that provides a variety of services for the poor and homeless. They are also against same-sex marriage and have a history of refusing services to same-sex couples. You can check out Dan Savage’s blog to read about the gay couple who was told they had to break up before the Salvation Army would help them. In one town, the Salvation Army provided the only shelter for families. They told a homeless family headed by a lesbian couple that the children and one partner could stay at the shelter but that the other partner had to stay out in the cold.
I generally allow people to have their beliefs, but I can’t wrap my brain around homophobia. Why should anyone care who someone else loves? Why do they find it so threatening?
I cringe every time I hear a Salvation Army’s bell.Â To me they proclaim, â€œGays are wrong.Â Give us money to perpetuate discrimination. This business promotes homophobia by welcoming us onto their property.â€ I feel angry deep into the core of my being every time I hear it.
This year, I decide to do something about this problem. Whenever I see a Salvation Army bell ringer, I take their picture and post it on Twitter with a message about where homophobia is being promoted that day.Â I also will not spend any money at any business that has a bell ringer in front of it.
I started asking the bell ringers if they were aware that the Salvation Army opposed same-sex marriage. None of them knew. One of the ringers told me that she personally supported same-sex marriage, and I informed her that by being a bell ringer, she was perpetuating homophobia. I hope it made her think.
I do not oppose charity or charitable giving; however, people have an obligation to know where their money is going and to align their pocketbooks with their beliefs. Please find charities that do not discriminate against same-sex marriage or the LGBT community and give your money to them.