Out HGTV Designer David Bromstad Defends Participation in Anti-Gay Salvation Army’s Fundraiser

BromstadOut HGTV designer David Bromstad is hosting an event for the Salvation Army on October 18 in Fort Lauderdale and many of his fans are unhappy that Bromstad would be supporting such a blatantly anti-gay organization.

The Salvation Army's bias against gays is well documented, including statements by officials that homosexuality is "an unacceptable urge", its lobbying against same-sex marriage in the UK and Australia, its threat to stop serving NYC if it had to obey an equal benefits ordinance, and its statement by an official last year that gays should be put to death.

Wrote Bromstad on Facebook over the weekend:

Dear fans,

I've read your feedback on my participation with The Salvation Army USA, as an openly gay person whom just happens to also be a celebrity, I took the Salvation Army's request to participate in their fundraiser as one step in the right direction towards equality. If we simply separate ourselves from those that we assume appose us or our beliefs then we will never make strides in the right direction. I applaud the Salvation Army's symbolic handshake towards acceptance and would be foolish to not extend my hand in acceptance.

SalvationarmyLast year, radio host Stephanie Miller apologized after allowing a rep from the Salvation Army on her show caused a firestorm of anger from her listeners. The rep. blatantly lied after she asked if the organization was anti-gay. Miller said she had not done her research on its "long and checkered history in olving LGBTQ people".

Do you agree with Bromstad's strategy?

Comments

  1. Jesse says

    This guy is a pig. I live in Miami and have been hit on by him and his bf in person and approached by him on Manhunt to do a threeway. He just wants money. Oh, and he is barely a “celebrity”.

  2. chuck says

    David, as an openly gay man why don’t you ask to spend a night in one of their shelters? See how far that will get you. Perhaps you can help Elton decorate the set for his upcoming Russian act. Your rationalization is a sad and pathetic statement.

  3. chuck says

    David, as an openly gay man why don’t you ask to spend a night in one of their shelters? See how far that will get you. Perhaps you can help Elton decorate the set for his upcoming Russian act. Your rationalization is a sad and pathetic statement.

  4. says

    The Salvation Army is a very old religious organization that has done, and continues to do, many good and worthy things. It is not a hate group by any stretch of the imagination and it is held in very high regard by many if not most Americans and Britons. Efforts to demonize it by the gay community only make our community look petty and self-interested. At the same time, recognizing the SA’s good works does not require anyone to agree with their religious beliefs about anything, including gay rights.

  5. oncemorewithfeeling says

    He’s not a celebrity and that’s not a strategy. That’s the act of someone who had five seconds of attention and is desperate to take the only offer that’s come his way to have more. He’s not trying to build bridges with the delusional bigots of the SA, he’s grasping at his one opportunity to get a sixth second.

  6. Lucas H says

    I think he is doing the right thing.

    @Jesse: I don’t really believe you anyway, but even so, how would being hit on by him and his boyfriend make him a pig?? And furthermore, how does that give you insight into whatever his motivations (financial or otherwise) may be for participating?

  7. Leroy Laflamme says

    For the past few Christmases, our company has participated in the Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family program. We started off sponsoring one family & last year we raised it to four. Every cent we raise goes directly to the family – we collect the money, do the shopping & deliver the food & gifts to their homes ourselves. All we get from the SA is the list of beneficiaries. We usually select single parent / new immigrant (sometimes refugee) families. We never ask about the recipients’ religious beliefs, if any. The pleasure & satisfaction we derive from meeting those families, & especially the kids, cancels out any misgivings we might have about the organization’s anti-gay stance. Real charity is meant to come from the heart. Try it – you’ll like it.

  8. Liam says

    Attitudes change one mind at a time. His actions certainly had more potential to create change than raging against the SA. (Full disclosure, though, I won’t drop my dimes for their Santas).

  9. bandanajack says

    @leroy have you ever had, or do you ever expect to have, a needy GAY family to assist? that is a problem. perhaps your organization can research for gay families to add to your SA list.

  10. JWL says

    What a poorly written statement. It makes him look like a vapid moron. @LEROY LAFLAMME what makes you think that SA is the only way to be charitable and that you’re the only one doing it?

  11. Steve says

    If you want to do some good, there are plenty of other charities. There is no reason whatsoever to stick with the SA. They don’t have a monopoly.

    They aren’t even a charity. The SA is literally a church.

  12. CVP says

    Sorry, “Leroy,” but you don’t get a pass. There are plenty of other organizations that do the same and are not hateful, bigoted and discriminatory in their practices. Dig a bit deeper.

  13. DrJustino says

    Well I am squarely in the not supporting David’s strategy camp. If he were to be having a policy and position discussion with them as part of this event, that might be a different story, but his participation is just serving to normalize and condone their bigotry, and allow them to not be held accountable for past statements and beliefs. I for one do not donate to my local salvation army even though it is right around the corner, nor do I drip change into the annoying, in your face Christmas-guilt buckets, choosing instead to support other organizations such as ox-fam. What is really needed is someone high-profile to call them out and challenge them, and it is not going to be him through this event.

  14. Gregory In Seattle says

    If your star power is supporting bigoted, anti-gay causes, then you will be perceived as supporting bigoted, anti-gay causes. If you or your career cannot handle this perception, then don’t use your star power to support bigoted, anti-gay causes.

    It should be as simple as that.

  15. Wavin' Dave says

    As a snowbird in SoFla – WilMa in particular – I can commend Miss Bromstad, hopefully with an editor and interpreter, to a few excellent local charities besides the faith-based Sally’s: POVERELLO and OUT OF THE CLOSET all do great work, with nary a lobbying effort against gay rights record to deny between them.
    She was kinda interestingly pretty, but never a brain trust – nor a skilled designer. I blame the handlers for steering her off course. If a barrier-breaking pioneer is needed in the charity world, please let it be consistently literate: howzabout Nate Berkus instead? She fine!

  16. Gregory In Seattle says

    @Perry – ” It is not a hate group by any stretch of the imagination”

    Because operating homeless shelters for straight people ONLY is a good thing? Calling for the death of gay people is perfectly acceptable when you give food to non-gay people?

    The group is a paramilitary fundamentalist cult, and always has been. The only reason why they are held in high regard is because their PR lets people like you be willfully ignorant of what they are really all about.

  17. Bernie says

    sorry, I do not agree with Mr. Bromstad as I don’t think Salvation Army will change its stance on the glbt community…..I agree with him in theory IF someone or an organization is open to changing its stance, but I do not see that with Salvation Army

  18. Fahd says

    Sounds like the “strategy” of so many gay men who are reviled and despised by a group, but still participate so as to be a part of something – gay teens in HS, gay Catholics? It has been every so, and this “strategy” brings about very slow progress, if any, while at the same time diminishing the dignity of those who “go along.”

  19. GThomas says

    Mixed feelings about this. My first reaction is, “nope, he shouldn’t work with them”. Then again, I’m a professional photographer, and if they hired me to document some of their work, I’d probably take the money and run. The closest I’ve come to having to deal with this is I was hired once by a Republican to do his campaign portrait. Yeah, I took the money and did it. How many of us can claim our jobs are totally free of any negative impact?

  20. TampaZeke says

    The fact that he says that we “assume they appose [sic] us” shows that he is speaking out without taking the time to become informed on the issue. There is no assumption that they oppose us. There is a long public record of their anti-gay words and deeds. The director of the Australian branch of the SA went on an anti-gay tirade that was worthy of Fred Phelps.

  21. says

    Has he read their mission statement? Has he informed himself about the SA’s policies towards gay people? If he has and is comfortable with those, then he should participate. If he isn’t comfortable with them or he hasn’t bothered to do a little research, I’m not sure what he thinks his brief association with a firmly anti-gay organization will do in terms of equality and acceptance other than add some small legitimacy to the SA? But, his choice.

    When we’ve seen our neighbor ringing the bell at Christmastime, we told him why we were passing by and told the store why we objected to the SA being outside in the first place. As others have said, there are other org’s whose missions are a lot friendlier towards gay families.

  22. QJ201 says

    IF he is getting paid at all, even if just for travel and hotel…he is a total sellout.

    Work with the hater for “bridging” (and publicity) all you want, but don’t profit from it…like Elton John (can we officially disown him?)

  23. Bart says

    Sorry David, there’s an Uncle Tom factor here that cannot be ignored.

    This is not an organization that “apposes (you mean opposes)us or our beliefs.” This is an organization that actively discriminates and worse. If you think this was an olive branch, I think you’re being a foolish minstrel in their show.

    There’s no doubt that the Salvation Army does good in the world. They also do a lot of harm. To think that extending an offer to an HGTV face is an olive branch or in any way is going to make a change, I think you need to pop your bubble and start living within reality.

  24. jamal49 says

    The Salvation Army has vociferously opposed any equality legislation in NYC and NY State for decades. They, along with the Catholic Church and other Protestant evangelical churches have always opposed equality legislation. While labeling them a “hate group” might seem a little strong, what else can one call anyone who lobbies politicians to deny the full civil liberties of a group of American citizens, and do so all the while hiding behind religious piety?

    Granted, the SA does commendable charity work. But that’s “wolves in sheep’s clothing” stuff as far as I am concerned.

    This so-called “celebrity designer” (lord, they’ll let anyone be a “celebrity” these days!), David Bromstad, may actually believe he’s doing “outreach” to the SA, but my cynicism says otherwise.

    The Salvation Army is anti-gay. They do not intend to change their song. They are christian. As far as I am concerned, they are the intractable enemy.

  25. Dan says

    If the SA was adamantly anti-gay, they wouldn’t work with David Bromstad. It’s good to build bridges instead of ignoring each other.

    On the other hand, if we vilify SA forever, nothing will be accomplished. They will still hold ill will towards LGBT and vice versa. Sometimes you have to take the first step.

  26. says

    One of the commenters refers to the Salvation Army’s virulently anti-gay policies, which include refusing to help gay people in need, as a “petty” concern for gay people to have.

    That is the definition of a traitor. If you think any self-respecting black or Jewish or Hispanic or Christian or any other kind of person would be okay with an org that explicitly demonizes their group and refuses service to their group, or that they should, you’re nuts.

  27. says

    One of the commenters refers to the Salvation Army’s virulently anti-gay policies, which include refusing to help gay people in need, as a “petty” concern for gay people to have.

    That is the definition of a traitor. If you think any self-respecting black or Jewish or Hispanic or Christian or any other kind of person would be okay with an org that explicitly demonizes their group and refuses service to their group, or that they should, you’re nuts.

  28. says

    One of the commenters refers to the Salvation Army’s virulently anti-gay policies, which include refusing to help gay people in need, as a “petty” concern for gay people to have.

    That is the definition of a traitor. If you think any self-respecting black or Jewish or Hispanic or Christian or any other kind of person would be okay with an org that explicitly demonizes their group and refuses service to their group, or that they should, you’re nuts.

  29. says

    One of the commenters refers to the Salvation Army’s virulently anti-gay policies, which include refusing to help gay people in need, as a “petty” concern for gay people to have.

    That is the definition of a traitor. If you think any self-respecting black or Jewish or Hispanic or Christian or any other kind of person would be okay with an org that explicitly demonizes their group and refuses service to their group, or that they should, you’re nuts.

  30. Chris Vogel says

    Here in Canada, the Salvation Army has repeatedly, at every opportunity, used the donations it has received, including from fundraisers, to try to damage the lives of homosexuals. The SA campaigned to prevent decriminalization (SA preferred that we continued to go to jail), human rights (SA preferred that we were fired, evicted and refused service), and ending violence and bullying. Needless to say, the Salvation Army has never, every, done anything useful or constructive when it came to gays and lesbians. Their former headquarters downtown had “eradication of homosexuality” painted on the wall as one of their principal objectives. This is, however, not unusual behaviour by all of those bigots who call themselves “Christians”. What a joke, and a fraud.

  31. Steven B says

    David, I’m a big fan and I hate to bust your bubble, but SA is only using you and your celebrity status to quiet public objections that they are homophobic haters.

  32. Rowan says

    GTHOMAS

    Not me! Some of us have integrity and believe in what we fight for. Ew, I just could never freelance for someone who works towards not giving black people rights and also opposes equality for gays.

    That’s just wrong. But whatever, each to their own but I think if you carefully looked at what you actually believed, you will see you are closer the right, then the left.

  33. Craig says

    We will never get equal rights because the majority just hands them to us. Having been homeless at one point in life and sleeping in a Salvation Army shelter I know first hand how homophobic they are. David raises the conundrum of “work together and hope to change minds” vs. “isolate bigots to the point where it’s more uncomfortable to hold bigoted views than it is to change”. I think the latter is the more effective way. Smoking didn’t change until we made it socially unacceptable to smoke. You can still smoke, but in most of the civilized world you’re isolated and segregated.

  34. michael kiser says

    This guy is a celebrity I believe his paintings will one day be very collectible. I think he is doing the right thing, i still buy from and give to salvation army. I do not like goodwill because they charge so much for their stuff that you can just go buy it new. salvation army is a great place to shop for furniture if your poor and clothes.

  35. KEVIN says

    This is like some irrelavant black “celebrity” going to work for an organization that supports black slavery. It’s just amazing the amount of internalized homophobia that some people have including some of the comments on this story. There are other organizations that do what the homophobic salvation army does but don’t discriminate. Some of you uncle tom gays should be ashamed of yourselves quite frankly.

  36. michael says

    I think that he will cost the SA more than he’ll ever bring in. This will help remind us all that the Salvation Army is an anti-gay hate group and we won’t accidentally drop our bills in those red buckets.

  37. MEMARCH says

    It’s all a part of image building and making money. He’s trying to project a clean, wholesome image to attract a bunch of bigoted, Middle American consumers. (God forbid, any of those corn-fed fans of his actually see him in his natural habitat – right, Jesse?) There are plenty of charities that need our help. The Salvation Army is a global corporation whose main fund raising efforts involve bilking wealthy, elderly conservatives our of their life savings. I know this from experience. It doesn’t make the gay community look petty to stand up against hate and bigotry. It makes us look principled and strong.

  38. woodroad34 says

    I sincerely doubt that the Salvation Army is doing a symbolic handshake with the gay community by having David decorate their set, or whatever. They just need a celebrity designer. Aside from the muscles, his personality on the show grates and I had to stop watching it.

  39. Mitch says

    It seems a strategy for self-promotion rather than any symbolic handshake. A symbolic handshake from Salvation Army would be an association with a gay rights organization, not an association with a self-identified celebrity of uncertain talent.

  40. parkrunner says

    BOYCOTT! BOYCOTT! BOYCOTT!
    Too many of you are questioning his celebrity status, yet seem to know him and his work. Referring to him as female and as a traitor to homos makes me question who should be more tolerant, the SA or you lot. The guy has trouble with grammar and spelling, so you make fun of him. You all sound like a bullying bunch of bitches. Let the guy sink or swim. At least he’s making a positive step.

  41. Windswept says

    I’m 40, when I was 15 I was chucked out of the family home on and off for a year, at 16 I was put in a Sally Army hostel by social work dept here in the UK, I was having trouble coming to terms with my sexuality, I didn’t know that there were other folk like me, anyway, long story short, I told a councillor at the Sally army hostel what was troubling me, and was asked to leave within a few hours…. they chucked me out onto the street with no where to go, even when they had plenty of rooms for folk to stay in, empty rooms, that they received payment for from local government, they did not want a Gay in the house of their god….

    Sally army are bigots, they hate Gays, their religion compels them to be so hateful.

  42. Joseph Singer says

    “If we simply separate ourselves from those that we assume appose us or our beliefs then we will never make strides in the right direction.”

    There is no “assume.” The Salvation Army has been proven many times that they are homophobic. I think it’s just chasing the buck.

  43. Delta Pearl says

    His show is mildly entertaining and he seems friendly enough, but like Elton, he’s never struck me as particularly bright. In fact, he seems rather dimwitted. He’s certainly displaying his poor judgement here. But seriously, have you even seen his silly show? What did anyone expect?

  44. Michael Barber says

    Salvation Army official last year declared that homosexuals should be put to death. When someone makes that statement, I have nothing but the end of a gun to point at their heads.

  45. Chaz says

    We made you a celebrity dumb ass. Yeah keep saying building a bridge blah blah blah! Your not warranted for your actions. I have fought on the frontlines for HIV/AIDS & Gay Rights, you my friend are a side jumper. Oh and who has really seen you on anything lately? Celebrity. HUH!

  46. Randy says

    “I took the Salvation Army’s request to participate in their fundraiser as one step in the right direction towards equality.”

    LOL. There is only one step in fundamentalist religion, and it’s their book.

    But they’ll be delighted that he’s providing them cover.

  47. rpscot in idaho says

    Sorry… The head of the Salvation Army said gays should all be put to death.
    I think the Salvation Army should be given the death sentence now. I am sure we can find someone else less bigoted to do charity work for our poor, sick, and homeless, etc.
    We do not need to tolerate intolerance from others. This is NOT a Christian Organization like they represent themselves to be.
    So, they can apologize till the cows come home. Won’t change anything for me. I’ve put my last cent in a red kettle for as long as I live. Lets see how much they can raise now.
    As for the question at hand… I think David Bromstad is just looking to try to put a positive spin on what he’s doing and maybe trying to be somewhat of a diplomat… He picked the wrong horse to back. I think his credibility will suffer as well as his fan base will think twice before viewing him any more. I personally have lost all respect for him and will no longer be watching his show or buying from his sponsors. The ONLY way we’ll get anyone to pay attention and take heed is hitting them in the pocketbook.
    He should be supporting his brothers and sisters and not the Radical Right Organizations like Salvation Army. At this point in time, any organization that is in direct opposition to us having full equal rights is NOT a organization any one of the GLBT community should be supporting in any way, shape, or form.

  48. says

    @Allan: Of course the SA had to launch a PR campaign to try to cover their asses after a leader called for the death of gays! But an ass-protecting apology means very little when your core institutional values are and always have been anti-gay. Dig a bit deeper than a superficial “apology” straight from the SA’s propaganda pages. And perhaps David should have dug deeper too before he signed on with an organization that considers him, at best, less-than.

  49. Jeff says

    Damn people get a life. You are all angry at the wrong thing. Look at his history of supporting the LGBT community and equal rights issues. His ideals are pure and his desire to inspire change is undeniable. I can’t imagine any one of you nay sayers have done more to further these causes. Have we really resorted to eating our own when we all agree on the same things but simply have different views on how to get there?

    Poor Jesse I feel the worst for you. If I get it right you were on Manhunt and bumped into someone whom claimed to be David and he’s the pig. I think I now remember who you are and your screen name is “Hypocrite”. Commonly defined as one who’s doing what he subsequently condemns. I’m sure your simply mad because you were rejected. Get over it. Happens to the best of us.

    The rest of you are starting to sound like the Republican party in that your attacking your allies over the details and not the message. You do nothing more then weaken the cause. You make me embarrassed to be gay. Gross.

  50. SB says

    I’m glad he’s going against the boycott hysteria. I’m sure these people at “The Salvation Army” could use his help and don’t give a crap about homosexuals. If you asked, most people don’t either. If all this were voted on (heaven forbid then it never would have happened) most people are against gays and their demented sex Ask sometime. Take that bastards.

  51. SB says

    Homosexuality does not own people, contrary to the desires of so many of you. We are individuals. Think about that the next time you are disposing of a crap covered condom. This universality of gay is pure 21st century and it sucks. We are not one.

  52. Marko says

    “…a step in the right direction for equality.” We’ve heard your statement David, now can we get an updated one from a rep from The Salvation Army, once again explaining to you exactly what their stand is on YOUR morality and the manner in which you choose to live your life? Then ask them why they chose you to host this benefit? Why not Carson Kresley or Ross Matthews? That handshake you spoke of? What is a “symbolic handshake?” Have they in any way said this is a way of “making strides” by bringing in you (a well-known gay man) to host their event? What is this symbolic handshake symbolizing? That this is their way (as it is yours) of “reaching out” as a fuzzy show of what? Respect, friendship, acceptance? And are you Mr. Bromstad going to address the issue of why they would invite you specifically to represent them? (I doubt they just ALL thought you were the best man for the job.) But as planned, just go, take the cash, and “let’s just not go there” about the whole gay thing. (I’m sorry you probably won’t be sitting at the table with the Salvation Army rep. who said homosexuals should be put to death. It’s a popular table I imagine…) So let’s just ignore (at least for this one lovely night)their longtime hateful and hurtful stand on GLBTQ issues – much like so many of us ignored who we are and what we were for so many years.

  53. Gee says

    Looks like David Bromstad has been rejected by his own. (although he would never reveal his genetic mix — avoiding anything Asian at all costs) I mean look at him. Call HGTV and lets get the little narcissistic egomaniac off the air. He has lousy taste. Let’s test our chops and see if we can get him off. He’s smaller than Russia. He’s a “celebrity” in his own mind.

  54. Halaluani says

    If I was in David’s position I’d ask the Salvation Army if they were aware I am gay. If they said they were I would continue with the alliance for the fundraiser. It helps break down fences and show how we’re really all the same.

  55. Halaluani says

    If I was in David’s position I’d ask the Salvation Army if they were aware I am gay. If they said they were I would continue with the alliance for the fundraiser. It helps break down fences and show how we’re really all the same.

  56. Closet says

    This guy is a disservice to taste, or any taste. He uses tacky loud bad design. He’s past his expiration date. He survives because he lives in the cultural wasteland of Miami. Maybe they don’t even know he’s gay. You’re not calling the “Captain” of that one. He’d be quite familiar with the Salvation rules.

  57. mododavid says

    Bromstad’s rationale is stupid. Also, I don’t care how many “good works” ANY organization does. If gays sat back with the oh-but-they-do-so-much-good (FOR OTHER PEOPLE!) bs, then we’d stop protesting WBC since Phelps was an activist lawyer in favor of civil rights in the 60s and before. This is also a stupid rationale. Salvation Army hates gays? Fine. Then they get nothing from us, except protests and contempt. If gays don’t stand up for themselves, we all become Russian gays.

  58. Ron says

    We’ve seen lots of people and groups of people change their minds about gays of late. The S.A.s asking David to host is a good gesture on their part and David’s acceptance on his. Seems there is plenty of intolerance and knee-jerks going on in the gay community as well. Chill y’all. This is going to take time. Hate is never the way!!

  59. Steve in Palm Springs says

    I agree with Liam on 9/30. I don’t know that if I were a gay celebrity, I would actually participate in any event promoting the Salvation Army, given the anti-gay history, however, reaching out as David appears to be doing, might influence someone in a positive way. I won’t speculate about what or if he’s being paid, but we make amazing progress as a community by showing we are real people too. I detest the bigotry, but changing anti-lgbt people’s minds about us, if only one at a time, is a huge step in the right direction and maybe that’s the impact he’ll have. By the way, I’ll be dropping rainbow cards in the SA buckets that say, “I’ve made a generous donation to LGBT causes this Christmas.”

  60. says

    He obviously had no idea about their strong anti-gay history and was probably glad for the work. A lot of people only know of their charitable efforts and see them as good guys. I would bet his handshake stance about it is to turn a oops into a thought out intention. And who knows, change has to start somewhere.

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