LGBT group boycotts organization claming discrimination - WNEM TV 5

LGBT group boycotts organization claming discrimination

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

The familiar ring we hear at stores throughout the holiday season often triggers the spirit to give.

"I donate because I would like for the children to have a Christmas," Valleria Rich said.

But it isn't a merry sound for everyone.

"I don't donate to Salvation Army because they are against gay rights," Linda Peters said.

This has been a controversy reoccurring throughout the years. Some gay rights groups boycott the Salvation Army because of claims the organization discriminates against gays.

Phil Hubbard is on the board of Flint's Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).  It is an advocacy group for equality.  He said he used to donate to the Salvation Army, but not anymore.

He's openly gay and said the charity discriminates against the gay and lesbian community.

"I decided that my dollars can go somewhere else, to help someone else," Hubbard said.

Just this week, the Flint Gay Pride Society sent out a message its members reminding them to boycott the red kettles. 

When TV5 contacted the Salvation Army, they said the claim they discriminate against anyone is simply not true. A spokesperson with the organization led TV5 to a website which they claim debunks the myths. You can visit the website by clicking here.   

"Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet the needs in his name without discrimination," said one leader with the Salvation Army in a video on the site.

The site also has interviews with gays and lesbians who say they've been helped by the Salvation Army.

"No, they didn't ask me about my sexual orientation. I'm actually glad they didn't because most folks will," said one man.

Hubbard said the site might sound good, but he doesn't buy it.

"They do a lot of good work for a lot of people, they're just not going to do it with my money until they can accept the fact that I'm different," said Hubbard.

Some gay rights groups will fill the Salvation Army red kettles with fake $3 bills this year.  The hope is this campaign will help the organization understand the money lost by members in the gay and lesbian community.

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