My friend tells a story about her grandmother who we'll call Judith. Every time the Sallies came around Judith would empty her purse into their collection bucket, she'd grown up in a religious household and respected the work they did. In 1985 she stopped - she no longer gave them a cent - and told them that the reason was because of the homosexual law reform petition.
I feel the same way, when I was on diversion I wouldn't do volunteer work for the Salvation Army. I'd never donate anything to them - although I do occasionally buy stuff from their stores if it's cheap. You lead an organised hate campaign and I'm prepared to judge you for that for far more than 20 years.
But I'm prepared to give them credit for this: apologising:
I'm not going to start giving the Sallies anything, but I might feel better about buying stuff from them.
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of Homosexual Law Reform, the head of the Salvation Army has apologised to the gay and lesbian communities for the Sallies' decision to administer the petition opposing law reform.
“We regret any hurt caused to people by the process of the petition and desire to build bridges to all sections of the community,” said Commissioner Garth McKenzie, Territorial Commander for the Salvation Army in New Zealand.
There are a few good articles about that time.
I'd also storngly recommend listening to the Radio New Zealand documentary about the law reform debate (I can't link to it, because the site is down at the moment, but it was on at 4pm today so it shouldn't be hard to find). It was a truly excellent documentary - it let voices from the past speak for themselves.
It was upsetting and disturbing though. While I've heard about the Jerry Falwell's of the world who blame everything on homosexuality - they seem a little bit unreal and elsewhere - it's unnerving to hear them talking here (even in the past). There was one man who talked about hoping that terminal AIDS patients died soon, because he believed that the more people who died of AIDS the less likely parliament was to pass the bill. I just can't understand that there are people who think like that.