Victoria, British Columbia – Though Salvation Army bell-ringers stand in front shopping centers to raise money for the poor, one volunteer decided to use his bell to protest gay rights.
The Salvation Army volunteer, standing outside of the Tillicum Centre mall, held a sign that read: “If you support gay rights: please do not donate,” which was noticed by several shoppers. “I was stunned,” are resident Andrea Le Good said. “I asked, ‘Does the Salvation Army know you’re wearing that?’ and he said yes, that he had received permission to do so this morning.”
CTV News reports that there was some confusion over the man’s gay rights protest. It wasn’t clear whether or not he was protesting homosexuality outright or if he was protesting anti-gay statements made by Salvation Army officials in the past. Makes it kind of hard to know whether or not to root for him.
Though the Salvation Army’s website defines marriage as heterosexual, previously calling on homosexuals to “embrace celibacy as a way of life,” they say that they do not advocate mistreatment of homosexuals. They said that homosexuality is not “blameworthy in itself or simply a matter of the will.”
Still, several Salvation Army officials have been caught saying controversial things about homosexuals, with one even infamously remarking that they should be put to death.
MSN notes that the Salvation Army’s stance on homosexuality is “under review.”
In any case, the bell-ringer was pulled from duty. “We just want to let the public know that we don’t discriminate against any sect of the public, and we’re a little disappointed that one of our volunteers chose to protest this way,” said Salvation Army spokeswoman Kyla Ferns.