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Salvation Army

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The Salvation Army, an international movement, describes itself[1] as an evangelical movement and part of the "universal" Christian Church. It has a quasi-military structure and was founded in 1865 in the United Kingdom as the East London Christian Mission[2] by William Booth and Catherine Booth. It is well known for its evangelical, social and charitable work. The Salvation Army seeks to bring Christian salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs, but its ministry extends to all, regardless of ages, sex, colour or creed.[1]

The Salvation Army's stated objectives are:

The advancement of the Christian religion as promulgated in the religious doctrines—which are professed, believed and taught by the Army and, pursuant there to, the advancement of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole.

The International Headquarters (IHQ) of The Salvation Army is at 101 Queen Victoria Street, London, England. The Salvation Army works in 118 countries. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as the "Sally Ann" in Canada and the "Sally Army" in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. In Australia, the full name is rarely used, with the slang abbreviation "The Salvos" displayed even on shop fronts.

The Salvation Army in the U.S. has been the topic of some controversial discussions about discrimination against homosexuals in their hiring practices.[3] According to lesbian/gay newsmagazine The Advocate, in 2001, the Bush administration was "willing to do whatever it takes to perpetuate, support, and defend discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals" in exchange for The Salvation Army's lobby support for Faith-Based Initiatives, in what the publication described as a "secret arrangement."[4] The New York Times reported that the Salvation Army believed it had a firm commitment from the White House to issue a regulation that would override local antidiscrimination laws. A disclosure of The Salvation Army's request "outraged some civil rights groups and lawmakers," and resulted in an immediate reversal of a previous promise to honor the request. The Salvation Army maintains that they were "not trying to get permission to discriminate against hiring gays and lesbians for the majority of its roughly 55,000 jobs and merely wanted a federal regulation that made clear that the charity did not have to ordain sexually active gay ministers and did not have to provide medical benefits to the same-sex partners of employees. [5]

The Salvation Army's position is that because it is a church, Section VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly guarantees its right to discriminate on the basis of its religious beliefs in its hiring. To reinforce its position, it threatened to close all soup kitchens in New York City when the city government proposed legislation that would require all organizations doing business with it to provide equal benefits to unmarried domestic partners.[6]

References

  1. . 1.0 1.1 http://www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/www_sa.nsf/vw-dynamic-arrays/2AF3956053A88A5E80256D4E003B4965?openDocument
  2. . http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/lists/gb-2133-sa.htm
  3. . Rove Under Fire, Bush Aide's Involvement With Salvation Army Request Eyed - CBS News
  4. . No salvation from betrayal - Salvation Army hopes to reap millions by supporting George Bush policy on gays' rights - Brief Article | Advocate, The | Find Articles at BNET.com
  5. . Charity Is Told It Must Abide By Antidiscrimination Laws - New York Times
  6. . Salvation Army Uses Homeless To Fight Gay Benefits

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