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Singer Ellie Goulding at the Salvation Army headquarters in New York CityInstagram

DALLAS, November 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A Grammy-nominated singer threatened to pull out of a charity fundraiser for Salvation Army because of the Christian group’s alleged discrimination against homosexuals and transgenders.

British singer Ellie Goulding threatened Tuesday to cancel her planned performance to kick off the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle annual campaign during a halftime show of an NFL game at AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day after she posted photos on social media that showed her helping out at a Salvation Army location in New York City. 

When fans and activists reached out to the singer over social media, telling her that the Christian group was “homophobic” and “transphobic,” Goulding issued a statement saying that she would “have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

dding that her “heart has always been in helping the homeless,” Goulding said “supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do.”

LifeSiteNews reached out to the Dallas Cowboys, where a spokesman would not comment as to whether Goulding had any contractual obligation to perform at the Thanksgiving game regardless of her feelings about the Salvation Army. Calls from LifeSiteNews to spokespersons at the Salvation Army were not returned in time for publication. 

According to Fox News on Thursday, David Hudson, the national commander of the Salvation Army, said Goulding will sing after all at the game’s halftime show as scheduled. Thanking her and fans for “shedding light on misconceptions” about the organization’s commitment “to serve all, without discrimination,” Hudson said the organization applauds her for learning about its “services to the LGBTQ community.” 

The statement added that the Salvation Army serves everyone regardless of “race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity … ” Goulding ultimately relented, and will perform on Thanksgiving Day to support the Salvation Army appeal.

Rev. Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, stated on social media that Goulding should have been allowed to back out. Others on social media suggested that Goulding should consider donating her own money to the Salvation Army rather than bowing to LGBTQ demands. 

Also, Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, a Republican, declared on social media that refusing to perform s not “a good look” for the singer. On Twitter, Krause denounced Goulding for presuming that any donor to the Salvation Army is effectively “a bigot who discriminates.” 

For more than two decades, the halftime show at the Dallas Cowboys’ annual Thanksgiving Day game has been the kickoff of the Red Kettle Campaign for the Salvation Army. Last year, the Red Kettle Campaign garnered more than $142 million to support the Salvation Army’s efforts to provide shelter and meals to disadvantaged, as well as toys for children.

According to the Salvation Army, money collected by the Red Kettle Campaign goes directly to local Salvation Army branches. On Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys will play the Buffalo Bills in a game that millions will watch.

According to its website, the Salvation Army proclaims that it is “an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” 

Its relationship with LGBTQ campaigners and like-minded journalists has been mixed. For years, LGBTQ campaigners have complained that the Salvation Army adheres to Christian principles regarding sexuality and marriage, even while the organization has long insisted that it provides services and employs people with no regard to sexual orientation.

In 2011, a prominent LGBTQ campaigner called for a boycott of the Salvation Army’s annual fundraiser. Two years later, after the Truth Wins Out activist group called for a donors boycott, the Salvation Army removed website links to groups of people who have renounced the LGBTQ lifestyle.

In Bloomington, Indiana, Prairie Pride Coalition (PPC) — a local LGBTQ group — announced on social media last year that it would not object to donations going to the local Salvation Army branch. On Facebook, it noted that while some local Salvation Army officials adhere to the national organization’s position that clearly disapproves of homosexual practices, there are some local chapters that they consider supportable and an ally.

Officials of the Safe Harbor branch of the Salvation Army in Bloomington told PPC that when taking in the homeless, according to the post, their staff ask “in a sensitive” way about their sexual orientation and whether they identify with a sex other than their sex at birth. The clients are then ushered to an area of the Safe Harbor facility “that aligns with their authentic gender identity.” In other words, men who claim to be women could possibly be housed with women at the homeless facility. 

Also according to PPC, Salvation Army clients are given a handbook telling them that they have the right “to receive services in a manner that is not intimidating and protects my right of self-determination.” Safe Harbor received LGBTQ sensitivity training from Planned Parenthood, according to the social media post.