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Houston Voice, No. 1099, November 16, 2001
File 009
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Houston Voice, No. 1099, November 16, 2001 - File 009. 2001-11-16. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 14, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/781/show/760.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2001-11-16). Houston Voice, No. 1099, November 16, 2001 - File 009. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/781/show/760

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1099, November 16, 2001 - File 009, 2001-11-16, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 14, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/781/show/760.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1099, November 16, 2001
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
  • Crain, Chris
Publisher Window Media
Date November 16, 2001
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 009
Transcript NEWS NOVEMBER 16, 2001 • HOUSTON VOICE Salvation Army rescinds domestic partner benefits Decision follows uproar from anti-gay groups byLOUCHIBBAROJR. The Salvation Army on Monday, Nov. 12, rescinded a decision it made less than a month earlier to allow its West Coast division to offer health care benefits to the domestic partners of its employees. The policy reversal came after Salvation Army officials received a barrage of criticism from fundamentalist Christian and anti-gay groups, who complained that the popular charitable organization was bowing to pressure by "militant homosexuals." "There was an uproar from the public, both internally and externally," said Maj. George Wood, a spokesperson for the Salvation Army's national headquarters in Alexandria, Va. "We received about 20,000 e-mails in 48 hours, nearly all of them against the policy change," Wood said. "These were written by real people. They weren't canned messages." Wood said the decision to rescind the policy was made by the Salvation Army's five-member national commission, which consists of the commanders of the organization's four regions and a national commissioner. He said the national commission approved the earlier decision to allow the West Coast region to offer benefits to domestic partners on Nov 1. The policy change, Wood said, was aimed at enabling the Salvation Army to meet equal benefits ordinances passed by various cities, such as San Francisco, which require companies and nonprofit groups providing services under city contracts to comply with those equal benefits laws. San Francisco's equal benefits law requires all firms or social services groups, such as the Salvation Army, to provide the same domestic partner benefits to their employees that San Francisco provides to its own municipal workers. Wood said the policy change adopted by the West Coast region used the term "legally domiciled member of an employee's household" rather than the term domestic partner, even though officials with the organization made it clear the term would apply to domestic partners. "We wanted to reach a balance between biblical principles and the people we try to serve," Wood said. "But this was perceived by the public as violating biblical principles. So the commissioners met again and decided we can't cross the line on domestic partners." The policy adopted by the Salvation Army on Nov. 12 prohibits the organization's regional entities from offering employee domestic partner benefits by Display and Classified advertising December 28 Issue 12 noon December 20 January 4 Issue 12 noon December 27 For more information call Wanda Faulkner or Carolyn Roberts 713-529-8490 rTTTTTTTTrTTl voice restricting benefits to an employee's spouse and dependent children. Wood said the new policy makes it clear that the Salvation Army will withdraw from or decline to enter into contracts with any city or municipality that requires a domestic partner benefits program as a condition for providing social services programs. Officials with gay civil rights groups disputed Wood's assessment of the bulk of the complaints came from the general public, saying the opposition e-mail messages and phone calls were driven largely by anti-gay groups. Jody Renaldo, executive director of Equality Mississippi, a gay advocacy group, said the Mississippi-based American Family Association called on its members across the country to "flood" the Salvation Army with emails, faxes, and phone calls. "The pressure put on the Salvation Army by the AFA worked," Renaldo said. The D.C.-based Family Research Council acknowledged on its Internet site that it called on its members and supporters to demand that the Salvation Army reverse its domestic partners policy. "[T]here is no escaping the fact that the policy at issue was being driven by demands of militant homosexual activists," said FRC President Kenneth Connor. "Their goal is not simply to obtain health insurance, but to have their relationships treated on an equal basis with traditional heterosex ual marriage." Gay organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay political group, have insisted their calls for recognition of same-sex relationships are aimed at securing equal rights and benefits for gays. "We are dismayed that the Salvation Army's national leaders stepped back in time and usurped the strong leadership of a local division to include and support all families," said HRC Executive Director Elizabeth Birch. "We urge the organization to return to basing its policies on 'moral and ethical reasoning' instead of what appeases anti-gay political pressure groups." Birch added, "If this decision stands, the Salvation Army will have unambiguously identified itself as an anti-gay organization." The Salvation Army became the subject of a flurry of press reports in July when the Washington Post disclosed the contents of a controversial, internal memo from the organization that discussed its views on gay civil rights issues. The memo claimed that the Bush administration had agreed to support a federal government policy exempting the Salvation Army from complying with local gay civil rights laws in exchange for the organization's support for President Bush's faith-based initiatives legislation. The White House denied it had entered into such an agreement. Brown's record clearly pro-gay; Sanchez cast anti-gay votes on City Council votes to compete in the runoff, set for Dec. 1. Sanchez and Brown now face off in a runoff election that most local political observers agree will be close. Brown and Bell both opposed the anti- gay City Prop. 2, which voters approved by a slim margin. The measure prevents the City of Houston from offering same-sex domestic partner benefits to its employees. Sanchez is on record as supporting the proposition. Bell's Thursday announcement backing Brown's re-election campaign makes the distinction of the incumbent as pro-gay — versus Sanchez as an anti-gay figure — more clear. "It's helpful of course," Murray said of Bell's endorsement of Brown. "If you look at the precincts where Chris was strong, he ran well in [the heavily gay neighborhood of] Montrose. "One of the clear differences between Sanchez and Bell-Brown was Prop. 2," he added. Gay supporters of Bell this week pledged their support for Brown's candidacy. He also has been endorsed by the Houston Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus; Gay or Lesbian Dollars Political Action Committee (GOLD PAC); and Annise Parker, the City Council's only openly gay member, who was re-elected on Nov. 6. Brown co-sponsored an anti-discrimination measure that included gays. The ordinance was approved by the City Council in July. Sanchez voted against that measure. In a close election, gay men and lesbians who vote can have a big impact, Murray noted. "Every vote will count Every vote really matters here," he said. Mayor Lee Brown 920 Studemont, No. 500 713-426-2001 www.brownformayor.com Orlando Sanchez 3100 Timmons Lane, Suite 100 713-871-8468 www.orlandosanchez.com
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