Salvation Army Assures DC Council Member it does not Discriminate Based on Sexual Orientation
(Washington, DC) – In response to an article in today's Washington Post regarding an alleged agreement between the Salvation Army and the White House that would allow religious groups, such as the Salvation Army, to circumvent state and local laws by discriminating based on sexual orientation, Council member David A. Catania (R-At Large) contacted both the local and national Salvation Army to express his opposition to such an arrangement.
Council member Catania, who Chairs the Council of the District of Columbia's Committee on Public Services, which has jurisdiction over federal grants, received assurances from both the local and national Salvation Armies that they have non-discrimination policies and do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. Additionally, the groups said there is no arrangement between the White House and the Salvation Army to allow them to discriminate based on sexual orientation.
"While religious organizations are exempt from non-discrimination laws," said Council member Catania, "when public funds are being used, those entities receiving them must follow the law and not discriminate." The District of Columbia's Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, as do 12 other States throughout the country. The Salvation Army currently has contracts with the District of Columbia government. "If I learn or suspect that the Salvation Army is, in fact, engaged in discrimination in carrying out its non-religious work," added Catania, "I will not hesitate to conduct hearings and subpoena them into appearing before the Council."
Council of the District of Columbia
David A. Catania, Councilmember, At-Large