The Salvation Army responded Tuesday after British singer Ellie Goulding threatened to cancel her upcoming Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day performance over the Christian charity’s purported “anti-LGBTQ” stance.
The international charity reaffirmed its commitment to providing charity “without discrimination” after Ms. Goulding threatened to cancel her Salvation Army Red Kettle Kickoff halftime performance at AT&T Stadium following protests by members of the LGBTQ community.
“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,” she wrote on Instagram.
“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,” she said. “Thank you for drawing my attention to this.”
Her statement came after a photo she posted on Instagram showing her working with the Salvation Army at a New York City shelter sparked a backlash.
On Tuesday, the organization said it’s a “myth” that they discriminate against LGBTQ individuals and groups.
“With an organization of our size and history, myths can perpetuate,” David Hudson, National Commander of the Salvation Army, said in a statement to The Dallas Morning News. “An individual’s sexual or gender identity, religion, or lifestyle has no bearing on our willingness to provide service. We stand firmly behind our mission to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”
The organization has pushed back against allegations of anti-LGBTQ discrimination many times before. A permanent web page on their Central USA site called, “Debunking the Myth,” highlights the testimonials of several gay and transgender people who say they were helped by the organization. The page estimates that roughly 20 percent of the residents at some of their more popular homeless shelters at any one time identify as LGBTQ.
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