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Ellie Goulding will perform at the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving show despite threats to cancel

Ellie Goulding June 2019
Lakana file
Ellie Goulding performing in June of this year.

Ellie Goulding will perform during the Dallas Cowboys’ game against the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving, despite earlier threats to drop out, the Salvation Army told CNN.

The Thanksgiving halftime show is a Cowboys tradition kicking off the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, which collects donations to benefit poor and homeless people through the holidays.

Earlier this week, the Grammy-nominated artist posted on Instagram about her experience visiting a Salvation Army soup kitchen in New York and talking to people who had come in for food.

But after posters on Instagram were critical of the organization over what they said is its stance on homosexuality, Goulding said she was reconsidering.

In 2013, the organization maintained that the Bible forbade sexual intimacy between members of the same sex, saying that gay Christians should embrace celibacy and that scripture did not support same-sex marriages, according to Snopes. However, it said, its services were available to all people.

“Upon researching this, I have reached out to The Salvation Army and said that I would have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community,” the artist wrote on Tuesday in response to one comment calling the organization homophobic and transphobic.

“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,” her response continued. “Thank you for drawing my attention to this x.”

The Salvation Army confirmed in a statement to CNN on Thursday that the show would go on as planned.

“We’d like to thank Ellie Goulding and her fans for shedding light on misconceptions and encouraging others to learn the truth about The Salvation Army’s mission to serve all, without discrimination,” wrote David Hudson, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “We applaud her for taking the time to learn about the services we provide to the LGBTQ community.”

The Salvation Army says on its website that it is “committed to serving the LGBTQ community” through shelter, job training, substance abuse help and other programs, adding that it does not consider sexual orientation or gender identity in its hiring practices and that it offers benefits to spouses of employees in same-sex marriages.

“Any person who walks through our doors will receive assistance based on their need and our capacity to help,” the organization says on its website. “Our mission is to the preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human need in His name without discrimination.”

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign raised $142.7 million during its 2018 campaign, according to a news release.

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