Photos Attacking Salvation Army Circulate in Cyberspace

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

December 11, 2013 Updated Dec 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - A message circulating in cyberspace implies the Salvation Army is discriminating against the LGBT community.

One image on the Internet shows two bell ringers beside a sign that reads 'Gays Not Allowed.'

Several groups claim the Salvation Army is anti-gay because of scripture in its doctrine. Multiple sources also claim these images, circulating online, are photoshopped.

Local officials tell 21Alive they never ask a person's sexual orientation when they seek help from the Salvation Army.

On a national level the Salvation Army has addressed this matter by posting testimonials from people who were helped by the organization but are also members of the LGBT community.

"It is hurtful to try to help people and then to find that there are those that would present us in that light. It would be nice to be able to have an open, frank, honest discussion of these differences in opinion rather than some of the things that are circulating around the Internet," said Major Harold Poff, Allen County Coordinator, Salvation Army.

Major Poff says they don't want to go on the attack when these things happen, because it goes against what they're here to do.

"Well I don't think that's who we are as Christians, you know, we're not about attacking and I think that comes from to the thrust of the issue. If we go onto the attack maybe we need to examine ourselves," said Major Poff.

This same message, and these images have been spread through the Internet for the past few years, and they are known to reappear around the holidays.

The Salvation Army raises around half of their budget during the holiday season.

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