December 17, 2008

Salvation Army abandons post office post

A Southern California man says he took on city hall and the federal government to exile Salvation Army bell ringer from his local post office.

Sean Thomas, 65, of Brea, told the Orange County (Calif.) Register it just wasn't right to have a church-based organization raising money at a government building.

And it wasn't so much a constitutional issue that riled Thomas as it was his perception that the Salvation Army is anti-gay and has an unfair monopoly on the choice fund-raising location, the Register said Wednesday.

Would it be right for my church to solicit funds in front of the post office? Thomas demanded.

Brea's mayor said the Salvation Army raised money for worthwhile charities in the community while the local commander of the army denied being anti-homosexual.

We serve gays on a regular basis in our treatment centers, said Maj. Lee Lescano, the Salvation Army's Orange County coordinator.

Nevetheless, the bell ringers and their kettles have retreated to a Penny's at the Brea Mall where Lescano expects the Christmas donations to come in well under what they would take in at the busy post office.