Citing a history of homosexual attacks on the Salvation Army, pro-family activists are convinced alternative-lifestyle advocates are behind Target’s decision to ban the organization’s traditional red-kettle bell ringers from outside its stores.

The Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, points to a story in the homosexual publication Washington Blade published last year describing a three-year boycott of the Salvation Army’s Christmas fund-raising outside retail stores.

“Gay rights groups continue to target the Salvation Army’s red kettles, hoping to persuade the Christian charity organization to end its anti-gay policies,” reads the Blade article.

“There is a growing body of evidence that homosexual activist groups may have placed pressure on Target to evict the Salvation Army,” said Schenck in a statement. “Whether somebody in the Target chain of command sympathizes with them or not isn’t known. Perhaps the company isn’t even aware that this is an organized effort.”

Target’s decision to oust the bell ringers was made in January, just weeks after the homosexual activists’ campaign was made public.

The National Clergy Council announced last Friday that it was urging its member clergy and their congregations to boycott Target stores in favor of competitors like Wal-Mart that still welcome the Salvation Army.

The Culture and Family Institute notes the homosexual drive against the red kettles was alive and well as many as three years ago. A report the organization did in 2001 cites a Midwest plan to drop phony bills containing a protest message into the Army’s kettles, in lieu of cash.

Robert Knight is director of the Culture and Family Institute.

“We happen to know,” Knight told AgapePress, “that the Target Corporation has been under enormous pressure from homosexual activists to dump The Salvation Army because [it] won’t give domestic-partner benefits [to its employees].”

According to the AgapePress report, Rick Garcia, director of the homosexual lobby group Equality Illinois, recently admitted that activists have pressured Target to stop supporting The Salvation Army.

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