Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is gay, is in trouble with some people in the LGBTQ community after a 2-year-old photo of the South Bend, Indiana, mayor recently resurfaced, showing him volunteering as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle campaign.
The frustrations first began pouring in after Out magazine published the article, “Pete Buttigieg Volunteered for the Homophobic Salvation Army.”
The gesture would be super nice of Buttigieg if the Salvation Army didn’t have a well-documented history of discriminating against LGBTQ+ people in need. In the 1990s, the Salvation Army dodged a San Francisco ordinance requiring government-affiliated businesses to offer benefits to workers with same-sex partners by citing exemption on religious grounds. In 2012, Salvation Army spokesperson George Hood claimed that same-sex relationships go “against the will of God.” The organization has also referred website visitors to conversion therapy groups and circulated internal memos opposing marriage equality.
When the story was posted, social media users immediately began posting their tweets, begrudging Buttigieg for his sin.
All of this comes not long after the Salvation Army took heat from pop singer Ellie Goulding, who threatened to cancel her performance during the halftime show of a Thanksgiving Day football game because the Salvation Army benefited from the competition.
She urged the faith-based charity to embrace the LGBTQ agenda. It should be noted, of course, the Salvation Army has for years worked to serve anyone in need — regardless of sexual orientation.
Then, not long after that, Chick-fil-A made waves when it announced it would no longer be donating money to the Salvation Army and would instead be distributing its philanthropic cash to smaller, more focused charities.
As for Buttigieg, he is gay and married to a man. He apparently had no issue with the Salvation Army.