Grounded in Faith, Open to All
For years, Facebook posts, forwarded emails and rumors have been leading people to believe stories that are not true. The Salvation Army does not discriminate against members of the LGBT community. As the Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Massachusetts, I think it's extremely important that people know and understand the truth: we do not discriminate.
And I invite anyone to visit a Salvation Army center to see our service in action, helping people based on their need. Salvation Army service is all about a person's need, not their beliefs or background, not their orientation, just their need.
In a recent blog post, our National Commander, Commissioner William Roberts, shared several facts about our service delivery and below, we share some pertinent excerpts that clarify the issue. Around the globe and certainly here in Massachusetts, the officers, members, staff and volunteers of The Salvation Army meet need wherever we find it and we do this with the kind of tremendous public support we receive each year. I invite you to come and take a tour of one of our programs, to see in action the caring service we provide every day.
David E. Kelly, Major
The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division
Christian Roots, Consistent Service
First, as an organization, Commissioner Roberts points out that we are true to our roots and consistent in our service delivery. "The Salvation Army is a Christian organization, founded by a small group of people in London in 1865 to serve those who were suffering. They were fueled by their love of God and their belief that God was leading them to do his work on earth. The only qualification to receive help from The Salvation Army was to have a need. That has not changed in more than a century."
No Policy of Discrimination
Secondly, he shares that discrimination is antithetical to our mission and ministry. "The Salvation Army believes that all people are equal. We firmly oppose the vilification and mistreatment of any member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, just as we oppose the mistreatment of anyone. Any such incident is in clear opposition to all established Salvation Army policy."
Notably, The Salvation Army employs more than 64,000 people from all backgrounds across the country. Employment is based solely on how well applicants meet job requirements. Only for employees within The Salvation Army that hold religious responsibilities, such as the 3,500 Salvation Army officers who are ordained ministers in our church, do we seek those whose faith and values are consistent with our theology. In that, we are no different from any other church in America.
The Salvation Army hires the best candidate for a position and offers employee benefits to all, equally. The Salvation Army adheres to all relevant employment laws and provides for domestic-partner benefits accordingly. We offer benefits to all employees and do so in much the same way that other companies and private organizations provide them.
A Global Army for Good
Finally, Commissioner Roberts shares the mission statement for the international Salvation Army. "Indeed, this promise is emphatically laid out in our organizational mission statement, which says: 'The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.'"
Click to view our Non-Dirscimination Policy.