Reporting Margie Shafer
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BERKELEY (KCBS) – UC Berkeley officials are reviewing a proposal by the student governing body that would ban the Salvation Army from collecting donations on campus.
The Associated Students of the University of California Senate unanimously passed a resolution in November calling for Salvation Army donation boxes to be removed from campus residence halls on grounds that the Christian organization discriminates against gays and lesbians.
KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:
“By putting this in the residential facilities right in front of students, it’s a tacit endorsement of the Salvation Army by the university. And the problem with that is that the Salvation Army has a long history of anti-LGBTQ advocacy,” said Student Senator Nolan Pack.
Pack said the organization helped lobby against gay rights legislation in New York and denied shelter to a transgender woman in Texas who later died of exposure.
A spokesman for the Salvation Army dismissed the allegations, saying the organization was founded on the principal of meeting human need without discrimination.
Not all students support the push by the ASUC.
Some protested the student government proposal Thursday by donning Santa hats and collecting donations for the Salvation Army at Sproul Plaza.
“We’re really embarrassed that our student government is really vilifying a group that helps so many poor people and homeless people in the direct Alameda County community,” said Nils Gilbertson, president of Young Americans for Liberty, the Libertarian group that organized the demonstration.
Gilbertson attributed the student government’s information to rumors on the web.
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