Over at Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington)’s Facebook page, a post on “ringing” with the Arlington Kinawis for the Salvation Army has sparked an intense discussion. I’m curious what Blue Virginia readers think, but first, here are a few of the comments from Del. Hope’s page. Personally, I commend Del. Hope for volunteering during the holiday season, for being a rock-solid legislator when it comes to human rights (including LGBT equality), for being a good person, etc., even while I am not a fan of the Salvation Army for the reasons expressed below and would recommend donating/volunteering to any number of great charities out there.
- “Not a Dime. The S.A. is a hate group. They a left a trans women on their door step to die in the cold. She died. Why? Because she is trans. There are 100 other charities to give to that don’t hate on the LGBT community. They make me sick.” (14 likes/loves)
- “NO NO NO. The Salvation Army is a right wing religious hate group. NO NO NO” (9 likes)
- “Thank you Patrick for taking time out of your busy schedule to help others. And be sure someone will benefit from the collections. Let the ideologically pure object. So many only see their tribe” (0 likes)
- “Hugely disappointed that you are helping the Salvation Army, an anti-LBGT org. As the parent of a transgender child, I cannot support what you are doing. Here for background” (4 likes) (note: Del. Hope replied to this one, “wow. They sound like the Catholic Church.” The original commenter replied, “What’s your point? Where are you going here?”)
- “Will Arlington Kiwanis also partner with a pro-LGBTQ group? I hope so.” (5 likes)
- “Thank you Patrick for your love and compassion for those in need. Love your neighbor.” (0 likes)
- “A lot of missionary groups might be considered ‘right wing.’ But the people who rely on their help have no other options. People also attack Mother Theresa. Fight so the Salvation Army is not needed or fight for alternatives. Patrick Hope helped homeless. He’s a good man.” (0 likes)
- “I’ve known Patrick for a long time. I’m a gay man . If you’re criticizing him for working for a charity you dislike then that’s your your right. Good luck in finding someone who cares more about people than Patrick” (4 likes)
- “Patrick, you need to walk the walk. I consider this action a bad mark on your record. You could have declined to do this particular event. As you note, there are dozens of other charities that help children. As an elected official & member of the Democratic Party, you need to do background research on what orgs you associate with. Hopefully, you’ll decline to work for the SA in the future.” (5 likes)
- And finally, a long one:
I know you’ve long been a strong support of LGBTQ equality, but I think you’re mistaken here. Back in the George W. Bush administration, the organization actually sought protections for their right to ignore local non-discrimination ordinances that protected based on sexual orientation. While they’ve made a strong effort since to give the impression that they’ve changed, they still have not adopted the same kinds of non-discrimination protections that you have for your own legislative staff and Governor Northam has for his administration.
If you want actual proof, here are just a few links to show the ongoing problem:
Until they are willing to say publicly the simple words: we will not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in our employment and in our services, I for one will be donating elsewhere and hope you will reconsider.