White House Denies False Claims Made By Salvation Army

July 10, 2001 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The following is a statement by Kevin Ivers, Director of Public Affairs, Log Cabin Republicans:

Today, the Washington Post reported that the Salvation Army wrote an internal memo claiming that the White House made a "firm commitment" to them to issue regulations, as part of the faith-based initiative legislative effort that would countermand local and state laws on sexual orientation discrimination for religious organizations.

In the story, the White House publicly denies having made such a commitment, and a spokesperson for the Salvation Army is also quoted in the story admitting that they could not back up their claim in their document because "no formal commitment" had been made. The Salvation Army also clearly implied, in their internal document, that there was a quid pro quo of financial support for the effort in exchange for the regulations.

In addition to the public denials by the White House in the Washington Post article, White House officials have also assured Log Cabin Republicans that they never made any such commitment to the Salvation Army.

Here are the facts around this Washington Post article:

One Salvation Army staffer's misguided memo became something akin to a child's game of "whisper down the lane" for groups opposed to the President. Once again, a long list of liberal special interest groups lined up, before checking the facts, to claim the White House was mounting a non-existent attack on the gay community. This was an unfortunate decision on their part. Earlier this year, there was the inaccurate report on the "closing" of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and the elimination of the AIDS 'czar' position, and similar actions were mounted by these organizations before they got all the facts. This is a strategy not based on building bridges, but based on firing off press releases first, and asking questions later.

We hope that the plethora of groups who attacked the White House today work to reach out to the Bush Administration and build common ground going forward. A simple call to the White House, getting the facts before they jumped to attack, could have avoided this day of misinformation.