The Salvation Army Has Approved Benefits for Domestic PartnershipsDecision Reversed!



Summary of eRumor:
The eRumor says that a division of the Salvation Army has decided to give health-care benefits to domestic partners.  The email includes an article from Agape Press that says the action brought the Salvation Army’s Western Corporation into compliance with a San Francisco ordinance that bars companies from doing business with the city if they don’t provide the benefits to homosexual and unwed partners.  

The Truth:

This was true, but on November 12, 2001, The Salvation Army rescinded the decision.  In a statement, the Army said its Commissioner’s Conference had established a national policy to extend health benefits to employees spouse and dependent children only.

The previous policy decision had been made by the Salvation’s Army’s Western Corporation. 

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2001 1:31 PM
Subject: salvation army

Salvation Army to Offer ‘Domestic Partner’ Benefits
The complete article by the agape press.
Decision Hailed by Pro-Homosexual HRC, Condemned by Pro-Family Groups
By Fred Jackson and Jody Brown November 6, 2001
(AgapePress) – The nation’s largest pro-homosexual group is praising a
regional division of The Salvation Army for extending health-care benefits
the domestic partners of its employees.

A press release from the Human Rights Campaign calls it a “prudent
by the Salvation Army’s Western Corporation and a “welcome development.”
says the decision brings the organization into compliance with a San
Francisco ordinance that bars companies from doing business with the city
they do not provide benefits to the homosexual and unwed heterosexual
partners of its employees. The Army had initially severed ties with the
rather than go along with the new ordinance — but now that resolve has

According to CNSNews, The Salvation Army had been the last major holdout
on a
$3.5 million contract with San Francisco to provide drug rehabilitation,
programs, and a homeless shelter. An Army spokesman admitted the prospect
losing that money was a factor in the decision. But the Western
maintains it has not changed its view on homosexuality — that same-sex
relations are contrary to God’s intention, but that people are not to be
condemned because they are homosexual.

A press release from The Army claims the controversial decision came about
because the more inclusive coverage reflects a recent trend among Fortune
companies, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations. According
the Human Rights Campaign, the number of employers offering domestic
benefits has jumped 50% in the last two years, totaling more than 4,300
today. The HRC also reports more than 150 of the Fortune 500 companies
domestic partner benefits — more than double the number three years

Col. Phillip Needham is the chief secretary of The Army’s Western
Corporation. He defends the decision, saying it was based on “strong
and moral reasoning that reflects the dramatic changes in family structure
recent years.”

Many Christians will disagree with that reasoning, recognizing the fact
while society is becoming more accepting of sexual immorality, God is

Pro-Family Reactions At least two pro-family groups have reacted to The
Salvation Army’s decision to offer domestic partner benefits. One of those
the American Family Association, a major pro-family organization and
proponent of the traditional family. Ed Vitagliano, an AFA spokesman, says
is sad to see a Christian organization caving in to the world’s way of

“I think that all evangelical Christians who love God’s Word and who have
trusted The Salvation Army to be faithful to the clear indications … and
clear principles of God’s Word about same-sex relationships [are] very,
sad that this has happened,” Vitagliano says.

Scott Lively, director of the American Family Association of California,
concurs with Vitagliano. Lively told CNSNews he is deeply disappointed
the decision and, as a result, has lost respect for The Army for caving in
an essential point of Christianity: the legitimization of homosexuality.

“This is driven by the gay-activist movement,” Lively said. “It has no
purpose but to legitimize homosexuality in American society.” According to
Lively, the benevolent agency is risking a fate similar to the Hebrews of
Old Testament who, he says, began “looking to the arm of flesh instead of
the arm of God to be able to meet the challenges before them.”

Vitagliano says the Western Corporation’s decision may well have
for the entire Salvation Army organization. He says as the Christmas
approach, Bible-believing Christians are going to become confused about
their money is going, as well as the future and direction of The Salvation
Army. “When they see those bellringers that have always been a comforting
sight for Bible-believing Christians,” he says, “I think that because of
the Western Corporation [of The Salvation Army] has done, [it’s] going to
confuse Christians even more.”

Vitagliano believes if The Army loses money in San Francisco, it may be
reflected in fundraising nationwide.

© 2001 AgapePress all rights reserved.