AHS and Salvation Army divorce drama begins to resolve

Kate Murray, Visual Editor

Many of you no doubt saw the Salvation Army posters that were put up around school during winter madness last semester, urging people to donate toys to the charity so they could give them to kids in need.  However, many of you also know about the Salvation Army’s history of homophobia and transphobia.

They actually have a long history of these things. In 1986 in New Zealand they campaigned against a law making sex between consenting adult men legal.  In 1998 they ceased nearly all outreach in San Francisco after a law was passed making discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation illegal.  In 2012 they fired a case worker after learning she was bisexual.  Even in 2014 a transgender woman was denied shelter because she had not had “the surgery.”  There is definitely more information out there and I urge you to go find it, but for now I’ll leave you with that.

For anyone who was worried about what AHS supporting them could mean, I am here to put your fears to rest.   No one who had anything to do with the posters had any idea of what things salvation army has done, and better news, The Salvation Army seems to be making amends.

On their website, Salvation Army says, “Discrimination is antithetical to The Salvation Army’s existence. We serve regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.”

While individuals in the Salvation Army may definitely be homophobic, it is no longer the charity’s official policy, which is a large step forward.  In fact they seem to be so dedicated to helping people that they made an entirely new website dedicated purely to debunking the myth that they are homophobic, an action I applaud as a very queer person myself.

Unfortunately they have yet to build a reputation as a non-discriminatory charity, and thus I took the issue of supporting them up with a guidance counselor of AHS.  As I mentioned before, AHS had no idea of the Salvation Army’s history and were mortified to find out.  I asked for quotes to make this article seem more authentic, however, they wished to not be quoted.

The result of the Salvation Army’s history being brought to more light to the school officials marks the probable end of the Salvation Army’s alliance with AHS.  Instead AHS will work with our homeless liaison to “adopt” Ames families in need.  This is my understanding at least, because as I said, I couldn’t get a proper interview.

The important information you should take away from this is that AHS remains (officially, I can’t speak for students) non-homophobic and non-discriminatory.