LONG BEACH, CA, November 8, 2001 ( – The Salvation Army’s Western Corporation, encompassing 13 states, has decided to begin extending domestic partner benefits to the sex partners of its homosexual employees. Colonel Philip D. Needham, the Chief Secretary for the organization’s western corporation, defended The Salvation Army’s decision, saying the new policy was “made on the basis of strong ethical and moral reasoning,” and that the change in benefits policy was necessary due to “the dramatic changes in family structure in recent years.”

The American Family Association (AFA) reacted to the news saying it was stunned and disappointed. “We are absolutely shocked that an evangelical Christian organization would grant health benefits to same-sex partners. Homosexual relationships are not legitimate in God’s eyes, and treating them as if they are by extending the benefits traditionally reserved for married couples is troubling,” said AFA President Donald E. Wildmon.

The organization came under intense pressure in 1997, when San Francisco passed a law, which required companies and non-profit groups doing business with the city to extend domestic partner benefits to homosexual employees or lose their contracts. At the time the Salvation Army refused to compromise and promptly lost a $3.5 million contract.

See Colonel Needham’s defense of the new policy:

To express your concerns to the Salvation Army contact:  The Salvation Army National Headquarters Commissioner John Busby National Commander 615 Slaters Lane P.O. Box 269 Alexandria, VA 22313 Telephone: (703) 684-5500 Fax: (703) 684-3478 [email protected]