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Ellie Goulding gives Salvation Army ultimatum: Donate to LGBTQ or no Thanksgiving performance
Singer Ellie Goulding has threatened to pull out of an American football half-time show unless the Salvation Army makes a contribution to the LGBTQ community.
The Salvation Army's Annual Red Kettle Campaign - which raises money to provide food and shelter for the homeless over the Christmas period - has kicked off at the Dallas Cowboys' half time shows since 1997.
Goulding, who has been vocal in her support of the charity after spending time in shelters in the past, was set to perform at the game between the Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills on 28th November.
In anticipation of the event, the Grammy award winner posted on Instagram to share an image of her volunteering at a Salvation Army location in New York City and thanked them for their work serving the poor.
View this post on Instagram
Ok so maybe hairnet not my strongest look but thank you @salvationarmyus for having us in New York. As you know, I have spent a lot of time in shelters in London, and this was my first time in NYC... The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need. I sat and spoke to several people who had come in from the bitter cold for some food (they serve to over 150 per day here) , warmth and perhaps a chat with one of the volunteers. ????
The post was met with backlash from fans who condemned her for backing an organisation that "did not support LGBTQ people".
In response, Goulding said she couldn't support an anti-LGBTQ organisation and called upon the Salvation Army to make a donation.
"Upon researching this, I have reached out to The Salvation Army and said that I would have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community," she wrote in the comments (via The Dallas Morning News). "I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do. Thank you for drawing my attention to this."
The Salvation Army states on its website that it will offer assistance with shelter and poverty to anyone who needs it and is committed to serving the LGBTQ community.
In a statement to CBS11, Commissioner David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army said: "We’d like to thank Ellie Goulding and her fans for shedding light on misconceptions and encouraging others to learn the truth about The Salvation Army’s mission to serve all, without discrimination.
"We applaud her for taking the time to learn about the services we provide to the LGBTQ community. Regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, we’re committed to serving anyone in need.
Every day, we provide services such as shelter for the transgender community and resources for homeless youth - 40 per cent of whom identify as gay or transgender.
The Salvation Army confirmed in a twitter post on Thursday that Ellie Goulding would be kicking off their Red Kettle campaign at Thanksgiving.
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