Friday, July 27, 2012

Dear Buffalo Sabres, What the Fuck Are You Doing?

Earlier today I retweeted this link about a woman's experiences working with the Salvation Army, and then being dismissed for admitting to being bisexual (even though she is married to a male partner and has a child).  I'm not going to get into the particulars of the story, of which there are many, as it would take me significantly off course.  But there is one specific point I want to touch on.

I have spoken to the Buffalo Sabres numerous times about their affiliation with the Salvation Army, both to figure out exactly what that affiliation is (The Salvation Army is allowed to collect donations in the First Niagara Center each year), how it came to be (The Sabres would not disclose), and whether the Sabres would consider partnering with more inclusive organizations that perform similar services (the answer - a continual 'no').

Each time the Sabres have responded that they see no reason to break with an organization that "has a policy of non-discrimination."  That has been their answer time and time again.  "By policy they do not discriminate."  Well, okay, what does that exactly mean?  In some states, LGBT individuals are protected by non-discrimination laws.  New York is one of those states, however the Salvation Army has already refused to abide by non-discrimination laws in New York State.

It's pretty clear that the Salvation Army's considers its supposed policy of not discriminating secondary to its religious beliefs.  (From which one can wonder what purpose a policy has, other than to simply put on a pretty face.)  That is the theme of the article I retweeted, and the theme in every anti-LGBT action the Salvation army has undertaken.  You need look no further than their employee handbook for proof:

"The Salvation Army does not make employment decisions on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation or preference. However, The Salvation Army does reserve the right to make employment decisions on the basis of an employee's conduct or behavior that is incompatible with the principles of The Salvation Army (15)."

"Rules of conduct are applied impartially at all levels for unsatisfactory conduct as well as misconduct. Unsatisfactory conduct covers, but is not limited to the following: ... Immoral conduct... Any activity, practice, or conduct which conflicts with or appears to conflict with, the interests of The Salvation Army (14)."

So to paraphrase, "we will not fire you because you are LGBT, but we will fire you for committing actions we consider to be immoral, one of which is being LGBT."

And the Sabres have no problem with this?  Why?  Unfortunately this is question I've asked numerous times and I have no answers.

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