Singer Ellie Goulding Threatens to Drop Salvation Army Halftime Show Over Alleged LGBTQ Treatment

Salvation Army responds to claims of anti-LGBTQ agenda, says they respond to 'human needs in His name without discrimination'

Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding may not be performing live during the Cowboys/Bills Thanksgiving Day halftime show after all.

The annual show is the kickoff to The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign, which helps provide shelter and meals for the homeless, Christmas toys for children, and social service programs to millions of people in need year-round.

It is with that organization, though, that Goulding apparently now has an issue.

Goulding shared a photo of herself in a hairnet, gloves and Salvation Army apron Tuesday morning, telling her 14.4 million Instagram followers about the good work the charity does for those struggling with "poverty, addiction and economic hardships."

It wasn't long before one of Goulding's followers challenged her ties to the organization and made claims the charity was "extremely homo/transphobic" and that she wished the singer "had done some research beforehand or something."

Goulding replied and said she'd reached out to The Salvation Army and said she would pull out of the show unless they "very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community."

"I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do."

NBC 5 News

Commissioner David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army, told NBC 5 Tuesday afternoon that, "With an organization of our size and history, myths can perpetuate. An individual’s sexual or gender identity, religion, or lifestyle has no bearing on our willingness to provide service. We stand firmly behind our mission to meet human needs in His name without discrimination."

The Salvation Army said they serve people based on need and not race, gender or sexual orientation, and included examples of where their organization has provided services to those in the LGBTQ community.

People who come to The Salvation Army for assistance are served according to their need The Salvation Army's capacity to help, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. An individual's religion, lifestyle or sexual identity has no bearing on our willingness to provide service. For example, The Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis shelters about 550 people per night, estimating 20% of these people are members of the LGBTQ community; The Salvation Army was the first social services agency in San Francisco to offer detoxification facilities and care for those infected with HIV/AIDS; and created a dorm in Las Vegas to offer shelter to transgender people, a group who is statistically more vulnerable to assault."

The Dallas Cowboys had no comment on the story.

NBC 5 has reached out to Goulding's representatives to see if she planned to perform in Arlington on Thanksgiving Day or if she was dropping out. As of this writing we have not heard back. We'll update this story when we know more.

Editor's note: An initial note from Commissioner David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army, stated: "With an organization of our size and history, myths can perpetuate. An individual’s religion, lifestyle or sexual or gender identity has no bearing on our willingness to provide service. We stand firmly behind our mission to meet human needs in His name without discrimination."

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