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Pro-Family Groups Suspect Homosexual Activists Behind Target's Salvation Army Ban

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By Katherine T. Phan, Christian Post Reporter
December 16, 2004|8:19 pm

Some pro-family groups boycotting Target stores this Christmas seasons for banning Salvation Army Kettle ringers suspect the chain’s decision was influenced by homosexual activist groups.

Target announced in a January statement it would no longer make an exception to its no-solicitation policy for the Salvation Army, which depended on Target locations for collecting around 10% of the total donations --$93 million-- earned through its annual Red Kettle drive. The statement said Target wanted to avoid discrimination against other groups.

But pro-family groups aren’t buying the company’s explanation. Instead, they charge the company for caving into homosexual activist groups’ long-standing campaign against the Army’s presence in front of retail stores such as Target.

In a press release announcing its call for a boycott on Target stores, Illinois Family Institute pointed to comments made by Rick Garcia, director of the homosexual lobby group Equality Illinois, on WYLL's The Walsh Forum radio program that homosexual activists have pressured Target to stop supporting The Salvation Army.

After Garcia admitted in a response letter that he has long protested and even demonstrated against The Salvation Army, Peter LaBarbera of IFI wrote an editorial adding how “vicious” the homosexual attacks on Salvation Army have been.

LaBarbera said homosexual militants in Minneapolis, where Target is based, mocked the Salvation Army by attempting to raise funds for homosexual causes using bell-ringers under the name “Celebration Army.” He also referred to an annual protest against the Army by some chapters of the homosexual group Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and involved putting fake dollar bills in the kettle.

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The homosexual activist groups are pushing their homosexual agenda even if it means attacking the needy, LaBarbera told The Christian Post.

He also said they are supporting, SB 3186, a bill would put "sexual orientation" directly into Illinois' human rights code.

The National Clergy Council which urged its member clergy and congregations to boycott Target last week pointed to an article in the homosexual journal Washington (DC) Blade published last Christmas as evidence to their suspicion that homosexual activists are behind Target’s Salvation Army ban. The first sentence of the article read,“Gay rights groups continue to target the Salvation Army’s red kettles, hoping to persuade the Christian charity organization to end its anti-gay policies.”

“There is a growing body of evidence that homosexual activist groups may have placed pressure on Target to evict the Salvation Army,” said Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council. “Whether somebody in the Target chain of command sympathizes with them or not isn’t known. Perhaps the company isn’t even aware that this is an organized effort.”

He and his group is encouraging people to take their shopping to stores that still welcome Red Kettles such as Walmart.

Bob Knight of the Culture and Family Institute also holds similar claims.

"We happen to know," Knight told the Agape Press, "that the Target Corporation has been under enormous pressure from homosexual activists to dump The Salvation Army because [it] won't give domestic-partner benefits [to its employees]."

 

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