The student government at the University of California at Berkeley recently passed a resolution calling for a campus-wide ban on Salvation Army bell ringers and their red kettles this Christmas, Campus Reform reports.
The reason: Allegations of discrimination based on sexual orientation by the celebrated charitable organization could cause gay and lesbian students to take offense.
The lengthy Nov. 14 resolution, SB 176, asserts that “Salvation Army church services, including charity services, are available only to people ‘who accept and abide by the Salvation Army’s doctrine and discipline’, which excludes homosexuality.”
Other complaints in the resolution include the claim by gay rights activist Dan Savage that Salvation Army soup kitchens won’t serve gay couples simultaneously, and the charge that the charitable organization contributed to the death of a 47-year-old transgender woman in Texas by grouping her in a shelter full of men.
“Allowing the Salvation Army to collect donations on campus is a form of financial assistance that empowers the organization to spend the money it raises here in order to discriminate and advocate discrimination against queer people,” the resolution also asserts.
For its part, the Salvation Army categorically denied the allegations made by the UC Berkeley student council. In a statement to Campus Reform, Salvation Army spokesperson Kathy Lovin called the allegations “internet rumors.”
“The notion that we require those we help to ‘accept and abide by the Salvation Army’s doctrine and discipline which excludes homosexuality’ to receive assistance is totally false,” Lovin said.
“The only requirement for service from The Salvation Army is demonstrated need and our ability to meet it,” she added.
A spokesperson for UC Berkeley told Campus Reform that the administration is reviewing the resolution, but declined to state whether The Salvation Army is currently banned from collecting donations on the prestigious public school’s campus.
The author of the resolution was Cal student Matthew Enger.
Campus Reform was unable to reach Enger. On his public Twitter account, though, he has previously attacked organizations for what he perceives as bias against gays.
He has tweeted, for example, that the Boy Scouts “can go fuck themselves” for refusing to admit homosexuals, according to Campus Reform. In other tweets, he has reportedly said he “hates the Republican Party” and hopes all conservatives move to other countries.