Updated: Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009, 7:20 AM CST
Published : Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009, 7:20 AM CST
Some gay rights groups are asking people to boycott the Salvation Army's red kettles this year because of the organization's stance against homosexuality.
But while the charity says gay behavior is a sin, it says it does not discriminate when it comes to helping out.
Like jingling bells, the red kettles of the Salvation Army are everywhere this time of year.
But before you donate, some gay rights groups are asking you to deliberate. They say: think twice about giving to the Salvation Army because of the organization's stance against homosexuality.
Major Jesse Collins of the Milwaukee County Salvation Army said, "Christianity has certain directives from scripture that we follow. While we may not agree with certain lifestyles, we love the sinner, we hate the sin."
Sheldon Walker of the Milwaukee LGBT Center said, "You're calling something a sin that's a part of me, like black is a part of me, like height, like wearing glasses. To hate anything is not the message Christ has for us."
And it's that viewpoint that has some groups using social media, from Facebook and Twitter, to gay blogs and web sites, all calling for a boycott of the nation's largest charity.
"I think we're a target because we're the largest charity," said Collins.
Collins, the Salvation Army's commanding officer in Milwaukee County, says the organization is Christian, and doesn't agree with homosexuality, but also doesn't discriminate against anyone who is in need.
"If you need help with utilities, you need help with utilities. I'm not going to sit here and grill you about who you're living with or whatever," said Collins.
"We have a choice about how we spend our money and which organizations we want to support with our money. It should give people pause, make them consider where those funds are going," said Walker.
The Salvation Army says donations are down in this tough economic climate.