lgbtcentercltCHARLOTTE, N.C. — The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte has abruptly changed course from a planned holiday giving campaign to benefit an anti-LGBT Christian ministry.

On Tuesday, the center’s weekly newsletter included a call for supporters to give to a holiday charity drive benefiting the Charlotte Rescue Mission. According to the center and partner Impressions Network, it was the second time the center had participated in a drive for the local ministry. The drive would have collected donations for the Charlotte Rescue Mission’s Rebound Men’s and Dove’s Nest programs.

But, by Wednesday evening, the donation drive had been called off.

“This is definitely a group we do not want to be associated with,” said Glenn Griffin, operations director for the LGBT Community Center.

The reversal comes after one community member raised concerns about the center’s partnership with the ministry. In 2003, the Charlotte Rescue Mission refused volunteers from the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) of Charlotte, a primarily LGBT congregation, because of its views on homosexuality and sin.

The mission’s executive director, Rev. Tony Marciano, who is still employed by the group, told local media at the time, “We cannot endorse a church that openly teaches that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle.”

After a personal conversation with Marciano, then-MCC pastor Mick Hinson told qnotes, “Even after a personal conversation with Marciano, the Rescue Mission hadn’t changed its mind. I told him that we weren’t looking for them to support our church. Just the opposite, I explained that we wanted to support them and their mission of feeding the hungry. ‘Well, we can’t support your church,’ he kept saying. He never could get past that.”

Griffin said his organization will now look to partner with another organization this holiday season, citing as a possibility Crisis Assistance Ministry, which includes sexual orientation in its own employment non-discrimination policy.

Holiday donors beware

The Charlotte Rescue Mission isn’t the only anti-LGBT ministry that often ramps up donation drives at holiday time. Check out our past coverage on anti-gay organizations and learn what LGBT-inclusive criteria you need to look for before donating to non-profit organizations.

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

10 replies on “Charlotte LGBT center staff halts anti-gay holiday donation drive”

  1. If people raise hell about the churches not allowing gays in scouts, why should lgbt cc be allow to discriminate against the rescue mission.

    1. The CC has decided to support an organization that supports them. Why would they support a group that does not support the LGBT community?

      This is not discrimination.

    2. It is not discrimination for a group to decide to not participate in another group’s charity fundraising, for whatever reason. It is discrimination when you don’t allow a specific group of people to be part of your organization, club, restaurant customer base, etc. CRM is not being thrown out of the LGBT Center the way Boy Scout troops are being thrown out of certain churches. My question as an “outsider,” i.e., a straight man who fully supports LGBT rights, is How did I know (for years) that CRM discriminates against LGBT persons but the LGBT Center didn’t? That’s almost as weird as CRM’s b.s. attitudes.

    1. As a gay man I can say that I truly believe in the mission of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. Tony Marciano is doing a great job addressing a much needed service. I personally support CRM.

      This is just a matter of having two groups that are not a good fit. The Center is still working to give back to those in need. In this case Crisis Assistance Ministry is a better alignment. No one has said anything “bad” about the other.

      The bottom-line, CRM and CAM need support. Give to the organization that you best believe in. If you have resources, please give to both.

      1. Well said. Can’t we all just get along and not trample on each other’s beliefs?

        My gay brother has the “my way” or the highway attitude, then he calls me an intolerant racist homophobe.

        All I am is a God fearing christian who trusts the bible more than worldly standards.

  2. I bet places like the Charlotte Rescue Mission would be shocked find out how many LGBT people have volunteered to help them directly and indirectly. How about we recognize that all sorts of people, sinners all, have good hearts and want to do good things for their community?

  3. Why is this a story? The Charlotte Rescue Mission stands for biblical values which orthodox Christianity churches have historically stood for, also (until recent times). Scripture (both Old Testament and New Testament) is clear that homosexuality is a sin. So, the fact the CRM does not want to be associated with LGBT is really no surprise. CRM is just standing by its values and religious freedoms and should be applauded for that.

  4. That’s the difference between you sexual deviants and Christians. Christians would never let the children go hungry just because we disagree with your sexually deviant lifestyle.

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