Portland doughnut shop The Holy Donut has drawn a backlash for a holiday promotion that intended to provide gifts, including warm winter clothes, to children in need.
The doughnut shop announced its plan on Facebook. Users did not take kindly to the fact that The Holy Donut partnered with The Salvation Army to find a few children in need. Commenters on Facebook took issue with the partnership, alleging that The Salvation Army has a history of discriminating against the LGBT community. The Salvation Army has denied that it discriminates against anybody for any reason.
“They proselytize to the people in their programs, they reject LGBT people from their shelters. They have tried to scrub their image, but still discriminate,” one commenter wrote on The Holy Donut’s page.
“People are going to boycott The Holy Donut because of YOUR choices. Do you see what we’re getting at? You’re supporting an establishment that doesn’t support your customers, so your customers will stop supporting you,” another commenter said.
The Salvation Army has often come under fire from the LGBT community. In 2012, a Burlington, Vermont, woman said she was fired by The Salvation Army for being bisexual. The Salvation Army has a page on its website that addresses the rumors it has an anti-LGBT agenda.
“We need your help in ending these rumors,” the post reads. “They can persuade people not to give, which in turn diminishes our resources and our ability to serve people in crisis. Please share what you know about The Salvation Army – that we serve anywhere there is need, without discrimination.”
Online commenters seem unmoved. The Holy Donut has received multiple one- and two-star reviews in the past few days on Facebook as people vent their displeasure about the charity drive.
On Tuesday, The Holy Donut posted for a second time about the controversy. If the comments on that post get too negative, the doughnut shop warned, they might delete the post. Comments on that post have been overwhelmingly positive.