A former Salvation Army caseworker in Burlington, Vermont is alleging that the organization terminated her employment - which provided the sole means of support for her husband and their three-year-old daughter - because of her sexual orientation.
In a story publicized by Truth Wins Out and co-published by TWO and Bilerico, twenty-six-year-old Danielle Morantez claims that the Burlington Corps of the Salvation Army fired her on Monday after she raised concerns with her supervisors about sections in the Salvation Army employee handbook relating to sexual orientation and employment discrimination, coming out as bisexual in the process. As of this writing, neither the Burlington Corps nor the Salvation Army's Northern New England Divisional Headquarters would agree to comment on Morantez's claims.
These allegations appear to be the latest disturbing chapter in the Salvation Army's history of anti-LGBT discrimination. If confirmed, this would be a huge black mark against the organization. After all, harming someone's family simply because that person had the courage to be true to themselves is vindictive and mean-spirited and goes against the Christian values the Salvation Army professes.
Morantez noted that her employers gave her every indication that her work was exemplary, but that after the Salvation Army learned she was bisexual, they terminated her immediately and ordered her supervisors to escort her off the premises.
"I'd like the Salvation Army to explain to my three-year-old daughter how they can justify their reprehensible actions in light of the Salvation Army's pledge to do 'the most good,'" said Morantez. "Firing someone for being bisexual doesn't sound like doing 'the most good' to me. It sounds like a tragic failure."
Read Danielle Morantez' personal story on Bilerico.
Salvation Army takes much funding from the government for its social service programs, but then practices discriminates in employment policies, and towards the people it is supposed to be providing services to.
Back when I was in the social work field, I interviewed for a job as a caseworker for the Salvation Army. One of the questions I was asked in my employment interview was whether I would provide abortion information and referrals to a woman client who revealed she was pregnant. I replied I would provide her information on all the options, including abortion. They made it clear it was their preference to provide only alternatives to abortion. They claimed they wouldnt base their hiring decision on my answer. But then why ask the question? I wasnt hired. I cant prove my answer on abortion was the reason. But should an agency providing services to the poor, which most likely receives government funding to do so, be able to withhold information from their clients based on the agency's religious beliefs? I dont think they should. And I dont feel they should be able to fire employees on that basis either.