Faith-based homeless shelter apologises after rejecting donation from gay choir

Shehab Khan
The Portland Gay Men's Chorus performing in the finale of its 2016 Pride concert: Youtube

A faith-based homeless shelter that looks after children aged between 10 and 17 has apologised after it rejected a $3,000 (£2,300) donation from a gay choir.

Public perception had led the board at Hearts With A Mission to turn down the money, which was raised by concert featuring the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus.

The choir said it wanted to make the donation because 40 per cent of homeless youths are from the LGBT community.

Hearts With A Mission Executive Director Kevin Lamson said the initial decision was not taken lightly.

“By branding something with our logo, what we are essentially doing is endorsing it,” he told the Mail Tribune. “It’s a shame that that factors into how somebody else perceives our organisation.”

The non profit organisation has now apologised and three board members have resigned over the controversy, Kobi-5 reported.

Hearts With a Mission board member Ann Hitchcock, accepted the incident had been handled incorrectly.

“We would like to extend an apology to our community. We also want to sincerely apologise to the LGBTQ community for the hurt and offence we have caused you,” Ms Hitchcock said.

“The board originally made the decision to reject the funds to avoid undue controversy, clearly that didn’t happen so today was an opportunity for the board to recognise publicly and to the community that they had made a mistake,” Program Director Sharon Rush added.

The donation instead when to the Maslow Project, an organisation similar goals.

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