, chief secretary for the Salvation Army USA's Western Territory
, said, "The (new) decision reflects our concern for the health of our employees and those closest to them and is made on the basis of strong ethical and moral reasoning that reflects the dramatic changes in family structure in recent years." Needham
rationalized that extending benefits to same-sex couples was appropriate because the Salvation Army
was not required to both extend benefits and issue a statement of corporate policy endorsing homosexual activity, with which he
said the Salvationists "could not agree."
This precedence by one of the oldest and most conservative Christian social service agency created an immediate controversy across the nation.With shock and dismay the Capitol Resource Institute
(CRI), California's leading pro-family advocacy organization, Family Research Council and Focus on the Family
alerted their constituencies of this news.CRI
responded saying, "It's disheartening to see the Salvation Army
compromise its own moral values by first claiming that the decision was made on 'the basis of strong ethical and moral reasoning' and then admitting that it caved in to pressures because of 'changes in society.' Once you start down that path where do you stop?"Further undermining the Salvationists' argument that they made the morally right decision is the admission by Lt.Col.