US Salvation Army warns UK on gay-partnership benefits law

Joe Gill

Salvation Army USA is warning its British counterpart that a row between the Christian charity and New York's city council over a new equal benefits law will inevitably impact on the UK organisation.

Homeless services provided by the Salvation Army in New York are facing closure because of the dispute on a point of principle.

The army's lawyers are in talks with New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg and the council over the Equal Benefits Law, which was passed overwhelmingly last month. It requires contracted organisations to give health benefits to same-sex partners - which goes against the army's doctrine.

A decision must be made by the time millions of dollars of homeless services contracts come up for renewal at the end of June.

Major Gary Miller, spokesman for Salvation Army Eastern USA, warned that a similar situation could arise in the UK. "It may not have happened in the UK yet, but believe me it will happen."

Salvation Army UK said in a statement: "This is not an issue for us.

Ours is a different culture and the Salvation Army is working towards an equal opportunities policy. There are certain roles in any Christian organisation that need to be done by Christians."

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