To the Salvation Army on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, August 27, 2003.

August 27, 2003

August 27, 2003

Salvation Army
Canadian Territorial Headquarters
2 Overlea Boulevard
Toronto, ON M4H 1P4

Attention:Territorial Commander:

Commissioner M. Christine MacMillan

Dear Commissioner MacMillan:

I write on behalf of the members of the CAW to express our concern about your organization's position on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

Like your organization, the CAW is active in communities across Canada. We represent 260,000 members in a variety of sectors including manufacturing, health care, transportation and hospitality. Indeed, we represent members in workplaces in which the Salvation Army is the employer.

We recently concluded our 7th CAW Constitutional Convention held in Toronto from August 19th to 22nd. It was attended by over 700 delegates representing the leadership of our union across the country.

During the convention, a delegate raised your organization's position on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals including your own employees.

I understand that the Salvation Army not only refuses to allow gays and lesbians to join it, you also denounce homosexuality in your publications. Your organization has intervened in court cases against lesbians and gays seeking equal rights (e.g. Mossop). I also understand that, in the United States, your organization refuses to grant benefits to the partners of your gay and lesbian civilian employees.

Our members have raised a concern that an organization that they have contributed to individually and collectively may be contributing to the perpetuating of discrimination against a particularly vulnerable minority. The current debate about same-sex marriage and the apparent backlash against same-sex couples only heightens this concern.

As a long time supporter of the work of the Salvation Army, I undertook to follow up on our members concerns. If our perception of your position on LGBT rights is inaccurate, I invite you to correct it. If it is correct, I would urge you to change this policy.

Yours truly,
Buzz Hargrove


cc: H. Mitic, B. Chernecki, P. Nash, T. Collins, J. O'Neil, L. Gottheil, P. Kennedy, R. Dhaliwal, L. Brophy, L. Kelly, National Executive Board Members, Ross Slezak (Local 2301)

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