Despite claims she would cancel an upcoming NFL halftime show over the Salvation Army’s anti-LGBTQ+ past, Ellie Goulding has reportedly reconsidered.
In a statement released by the Protestant charity organization, its national commander, David Hudson, confirmed that the show would indeed go on. He told CNN that the organization reached out to the singer to discuss its stance of providing services to all — regardless of sexual orientation or gender — and that she agreed to go through with the planned November 28 perfornance.
"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," he said. "We applaud her for taking the time to learn about the services we provide to the [LGBTQ+] community."
As previously reported by Out, the Salvation Army claims it has "evolved" since 2014, when a leaked memo stated its opposition to marriage equality. The organization has also opposed LGBTQ+ affirming curricula in Australia as recently as 2016.
The NFL Thanksgiving halftime show might need to find a new performer, as Ellie Goulding has threatened to pull out in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
Goulding’s performance would coincide with the launch of Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign, providing resources and shelter for the homeless during the holidays. But as Goulding’s fans reminded her on social media, the Salvation Army has a history of discriminating against LGBTQ+ people. In addition to discouraging their employees from voicing their opinions on same-sex marriage, the organization allegedly refuses to house same-sex homeless couples unless they separate, refers to queer people seeking aid to conversion therapy, and upholds a long-standing policy of not serving trans people in need.
Moved by her fans pleas for her to reconsider her performance, Goulding said in a comment on her Instagram post, “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.”
Goulding added that she’s “a committed philanthropist” and that her “heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-[LGBTQ+] charity is clearly not something [she] would ever intentionally do.” She added, “Thank you for drawing my attention to this.”
The Salvation Army has responded to Goulding, saying that the critiques of their behavior are unfounded. Commissioner David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army, told the NBC affiliate KXAS-TV that while “myths can perpetuate... an individual’s sexual or gender identity, religion, or lifestyle has no bearing on our willingness to provide service.” He said, “We stand firmly behind our mission to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”
That sounds like a “no” on either donating to or supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Thankfully, there are plenty of queer organizations that can use your help this holiday season instead.