Why I boycott Gloria Jeans Coffee – and you should too

There’s something about Gloria Jeans Coffee that leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth – and it’s not just the overheated, tastes-like-dishwater brew in the cheap paper cup.

Whether its franchisees, staff or customers know it or not, profits from this franchise are put to some pretty objectionable uses.

$30,000 donation to Australian Christian Lobby

Recently, thanks to the investigative efforts of Doug Pollard from community radio Joy 94.9FM, it’s been revealed that Gloria Jeans contributed $30,000 to the Australian Christian Lobby in 2010. That figure is only public because it is classified as ‘for political expenditure’ and exceeds $11,500. We simply don’t know how much Gloria Jeans may have contributed financially to the ACL under other headings.


Why is this important? Because the Australian Christian Lobby is Australia’s leading anti-gay lobby. Don’t be fooled by the moniker ‘Christian’. They spend very little time feeding the poor, housing the homeless or arguing for a more fair and just society. In fact, another JoyFM volunteer, Jacob Holman, recently took stock of the ACL’s activities and found their obsession with homosexuality and same-sex marriage sticks out like – well – like an enormously large erect penis. Just check out the graph! It’s easy to see what gets those good ol’ boys at the ACL excited!

That should concern every Australian who is gay, or who has gay friends or relatives. In fact, it should concern all Australians who believe this is a country in which every citizen should be treated equally.

The Australian Christian Lobby does not support equality. It supports an ‘us’ and ‘them’ policy when it comes to our gay population. In fact, it even supports discrimination against gay teens.

ACL endorses expelling gay teens

In 2011, Jim Wallace, the managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby endorsed a NSW law that allows private schools to expel gay students simply for being gay.

To be fair, Wallace said clarified his endorsement by saying:

“But I would expect any church that found itself in that situation to do [expel the gay child] that in the most loving way that it could for the child and to reduce absolutely any negative affects.”

Hmmm, I wonder how you say lovingly: “Well, Jason, you’re gay and you refuse to hide it, so, kiddo, you’re out on your ear – we don’t want ‘your sort’ around here contaminating all the nice, heterosexual kiddies.”

I wonder how you deliver that message without ‘absolutely any negative effects’.

The thing is you can’t. Which is why that kind of message, endorsed by the Australian Christian Lobby, prompts gay teens to commit suicide in far greater numbers than their heterosexual peers.* Support the Australian Christian Lobby in any way and you are inadvertently supporting the social climate that leads to gay teen suicides.

And these are the views being financed by Gloria Jeans Coffee.

Sexual abuse by clergy? Gays are to blame, says Wallace

When it comes to the sexual abuse of children by clergy, Jim Wallace of the Australian Christian Lobby is quick to assign blame. Only he doesn’t blame the churches which have enabled abuse, covered it up, and done their darndest not to take responsibility. No. Jim blames homosexuals for infiltrating churches in order to prey on vulnerable children. Completely ignoring all the academic studies which show there is no link between homosexuality and the sexual abuse of children, Wallace continues to disseminate that vile lie and paint the church as the ‘victim’. *

Offending Muslims, homosexuals and diggers

But Wallace doesn’t stop at offending homosexuals. On ANZAC day 2011, he tweeted with an appalling lack of sensitivity for either his targets or Australian diggers:

“Just hope that as we remember Servicemen and women today we remember the Australia they fought for – wasn’t gay marriage and Islamic!”

Nazi slur

This week, while debating a gay, Jewish woman (Dr Kerryn Phelps) in front of a man with a Jewish surname (Sunrise on Seven host, David Koch), Wallace accused Seven, Sunrise and the ‘homosexual lobby’ of acting like Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist renowned for ‘creating an atmosphere in Germany that made it possible for the Nazis to commit terrible atrocities against Jews, homosexuals and other minorities.’

The slur was astounding in its insensitivity, casting Jewish Phelps in the role of ‘Nazi’ and Wallace in the role of ‘victim’.

LGBT Jewish group, Aleph, responded with incredible dignity and restraint:

“Tens of thousands of homosexual men were murdered under the hand of Joseph Goebbels, alongside many millions of Jews and people from a variety of national identities and religious beliefs. To be compared to this person, in the pursuit of equality and human rights is unconscionable. It beggars belief that an individual with a respected career in the Australian Defence Force is incapable of comprehending the gravity and insensitivity of the words he uttered on national television.”

Please consider, if you’re Muslim, Jewish, gay or a member of (or descended from a member of) the Australian military who fought to defend equality in this country, drinking your coffee at Gloria Jeans may well mean you are financially supporting the Australian Christian Lobby.

Financial support to Salvation Army

If your particular concern is not to finance homophobic organisations, there’s another good reason to steer clear of Gloria Jeans. Apparently they also donate to the Salvation Army. Now, while the Sallys, at least, do some useful, practical work in the community, their attitude towards homosexuality is not good as my friend Michael Barnett explains. According to the Salvation Army’s Australian positional statement on homosexuality:

“Homosexual practice … is, in the light of Scripture, clearly unacceptable. Such activity is chosen behaviour and is thus a matter of the will. It is therefore able to be directed or restrained in the same way heterosexual urges are controlled. Homosexual practice would render any person ineligible for full membership (soldiership) in the Army. However, practising homosexuals are welcome to worship with, and join in the fellowship of The Salvation Army.”

How very kind of them!

How badly do you really want that coffee now? How much effort is it to just walk on to the next coffee shop?

And, sadly, when it comes to Gloria Jeans that’s not all.

Gloria Jeans’ owners

Gloria Jeans was founded by Nabi Saleh (an elder and board member of Hillsong Church, director of Alphacrucis – formerly the Southern Cross College of the Assemblies of God – and director of Kenneth Copeland Ministries Eagle Mountain International Church) and Peter Irvine (a member of Hillsong Church and formerly a director of the notorious Mercy Ministries) .

Kenneth Copeland Ministries

Let’s look at Saleh’s connections first. In 2010, Kenneth Copeland Ministries ‘Believers’ Voice of Victory Show’ was canned by Australia’s Channel 10 after complaints the program breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice by vilifying gays.

Copeland likes to whip up hatred for gays by telling his followers Jesus was gang raped by homosexual Roman soldiers ‘in every way possible’.

“Listen to me very carefully. The Bible’s very careful about the way it says these things. But down there in that dungeon, Romans, ungodly men, ungodly men, put Him (Jesus) to every kind of abuse that you can think of. There is no sin that Jesus didn’t bear. There is no thing, there is no such thing as a sexual abuse on somebody that Jesus doesn’t know firsthand what it’s all about.” – Copeland, The Resurrection Truth

Like Brian Houston from Hillsong, Copeland preaches the ‘prosperity gospel’ – code for the congregation tithes and the pastor gets obscenely rich. Copeland has done well out of it. The televangelist is reportedly worth $769 million. A US Senate investigation into Copeland revealed that:

“… the Copelands’ church provides the Copelands with an 18,000 square-foot mansion that was valued at over $6 million in 2008. It has two three-car garages and three boat slips. Its doors, Gloria Copeland brags, come from a castle. John Copeland confirmed the value of the house and added that their parsonage is also used for housing guest ministers, television taping, rest and relaxation, and includes offices for Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.”

As the owner of Gloria Jeans is a director of Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Australia, one has to wonder how much money from Gloria Jeans is being filtered through to KCM to prop up the Copelands’ extravagant lifestyle and homophobic propaganda.

Mercy Ministries

Gloria Jean’s co-founder, Peter Irvine, was a director of Hillsong-backed Mercy Ministries. Gloria Jeans Coffee was a sponsor. Mercy Ministries offered treatment to young women suffering from depression, mental illness and eating disorders. Ostensibly ‘free’, once inducted into the program, the women were told to sign over their Centrelink payments. The professional medical help they were promised came in the form of exorcisms by Bible college students.

In December 2009, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found Irvine and other former directors of Mercy Ministries had engaged in false and misleading conduct and ordered to pay $1,050 to each of the 110 young women who took part in their programs. Pragmatically, both Hillsong and Gloria Jeans severed their association with Mercy Ministries in 2009.

Unpaid commissions to join venture partner

But Saleh’s and Irvine’s dirty dealings aren’t just confined to their religious delusions. In an ongoing battle, Gloria Jeans’ parent company has been found guilty of screwing over their joint venture partner, Western Export Services, for millions of dollars in unpaid commissions.

David Cisneros, a director of Western Export Services says:

”[Mr Saleh and Mr Irvine] had an external accountant who kept giving us numbers that we couldn’t trust .. For us this has been 16 years and this lawsuit has been running for six years. It represented 40 to 50 per cent of our business – we were a small company and we could not just walk away from it.”

On 11 June last year, Gloria Jeans’ parent company was ordered to pay Western over $12 million in commissions plus interest and court costs after the court found Jireh (read Nabi Saleh and Peter Irvine) had breached their joint venture agreement. According to Western, Jireh may not have the funds to make the payment and, at this stage, a stay order has been granted by the court.

Tantalisingly, Ross Koffell, lawyer for Western added, “A lot of information people have been trying to find out for so long about this business may finally be revealed in this case.”

So much for the Saleh’s ‘strong business acumen and Godly wisdom‘ touted on Hillsong’s website! Is it considered astute financial management, godly or wise to cheat your joint venture partner partner out of 12 million bucks and not be able to pay them back?

Hillsong Church

While Gloria Jeans and Hillsong have no formal financial ties, Nabi Saleh is an elder and board member of Hillsong and appears to be heavily involved in managing their financial affairs. Peter Irvine is a member of the church. Gloria Jeans ‘assists’ Hillsong with fundraising by supplying mobile coffee carts and coffee supplies.

Hillsong teaches that homosexuality is unnatural. For many years, Hillsong ran an ex-gay program called Exit International and, after its closure, referred homosexuals to other programs such as Exodus and Living Waters until the mid 2000s. Apparently, Hillsong’s current policy is not to refer homosexuals to ex-gay programs, but the church does not appear to be a safe or welcoming place for LGBTI people. As one gay former member of the church says:

“… every week I get another email, facebook message or someone else from church speaks to me, telling me they are being bullied at church or that they are depressed and just can’t break free from self hatred. Sadly, the most common story I hear is of a closeted gay or lesbian person at Hillsong who tells me that they are too scared to come out because they feel like if they did, people in church wouldn’t treat them the same.”

Hillsong has also had some very questionable business dealings. In 2006, for example, the church’s charitable arm, Hillsong Emerge was stripped of a sizeable federal grant for fraudulently suggesting its proposed program had the support of a local indigenous community. The Federal parliament was told, “”Hillsong Emerge has misused the Riverstone Aboriginal community to get taxpayers’ money for its own purposes.”

Making matters worse, when the fraud became apparent to the Riverstone Aboriginal Community and they threatened to take the matter to the media, Hillsong Emerge offered them a bribe of $280,000 to keep it quiet and fudge their support; an offer that was tartly refused.

If you’re indigenous, or have friends who are, you may wish to think twice before sharing your money with Gloria Jeans, a company with such close ties to Hillsong church.

Why I boycott Gloria Jeans Coffee – and you should too

So, just to recap: the Australian Christian Lobby, Hillsong Church, the Salvation Army and possibly Kenneth Copeland Ministries are four organisations you may inadvertently be supporting when you buy coffee from Gloria Jeans.

There is also, of course, the matter of their past involvement with the abusive Mercy Ministries, the deceptive practices of director, Peter Irvine, and the company allegedly ripping off a small joint-venture partner for millions of dollars. It’s not a business I’d care to have anything to do with – either as a franchisee, a staff member or a customer.

I’ve boycotted Gloria Jeans since my friend, Sean Wright (aka Sean the Blogonaut) alerted me to Gloria Jeans’ connection with Mercy Ministries and Hillsong. Reading Tanya Levin’s People in Glasshouses: an Insider’s Story of Life In and Out of Hillsong strengthened my resolve never to darken their doorstop. Admittedly, the fact that their coffee is over-cooked and tastes like dishwater made the decision considerably easier.

While there is something clearly rotten at the head of this company, I do understand that the franchisees, management and staff are not necessarily guilty of Irvine’s and Saleh’s bigotry, bastardry and poor judgement. So while I am calling for a boycott of Gloria Jeans, I am also calling for the people who actually run the stores to take a stand. Reclaim some decency for this company and demand that no more money be spent on religious ventures like Hillsong, Mercy Ministries, the Salvation Army or the Australian Christian Lobby.

If Irvine and Saleh want to make donations from their own personal wealth, that is their business. But while their company, Gloria Jeans Coffee is supporting homophobia, it reflects on everyone who works in that business.

Chrys Stevenson

* Please read this term inclusively as meaning, lesbian, bisexual, transexual, gay, intersex and queer.

*According to Suicide Prevention Australia, “38% of gay people have experienced discrimination. 50% have experienced verbal abuse. And shockingly, 74% of this abuse happened at school. Around 30% of Australian gay teenagers will attempt suicide. In Australia, on average over 200 young people will suicide this year. Around 30% of Australia’s gay teenagers will attempt suicide. Gay teens are 14 times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.” If that doesn’t make Gloria Jeans coffee taste undrinkable, I don’t know what will.

*The truth, according to reputable academic data (see, for example, Jenny, C et al in Pediatrics, 1994), is that homosexual men (men who have sex with men) are less likely than heterosexual men to sexually abuse children. Sexual abuse by lesbians is almost unheard of. Men who have sex with boys may be heterosexual (and the abuse of boys opportunistic rather than signifying a sexual ‘preference’) or, often, they are sexually immature ‘hebephiles’ who are not sexually attracted to either adult males or women – only to children. The abuse of a boy by an adult male may be described as ‘homosexual molestation’ in some church reports, but, as experts at the University of California Davis attest, this does not mean that the adult involved was a homosexual. The distinction is important and accepted by all but fundamentalists with a bigoted barrow to push. As Father Edward L Beck, a Catholic priest notes:

“To link homosexuality and pedophilia (or ephebophilia) is obviously erroneous, uninformed and irresponsible. Homosexuality is a sexual orientation. Pedophilia and ephebophilia are sexual disorders that afflict both heterosexuals and homosexuals, and mostly heterosexuals.”

Want to do more than just boycott?

Join the Boycott Gloria Jeans Facebook group

Ask your local Gloria Jeans franchiser if they are aware that profits from the company support a homophobic agenda (but do be polite, please!). There’s a Store Locator on the Gloria Jeans website.

Let your friends and social networking contacts know that Gloria Jeans supports homophobic organisations and suggest they may want to purchase their coffee elsewhere.

Do you own a coffee shop or a coffee franchise? Why not seize a great marketing opportunity, donate to Australian Marriage Equality and advertise yourself as a supporter. Consider this – when the Australian Christian Lobby started complaining about Sunrise on Seven’s support for the “I Do” same-sex marriage campaign, GetUp called for signatures from those who thought it was a great initiative. The initial target was 5,000 signatures. So far, over 41,000 people have signed.

Gloria Jeans responds to boycott

… (and I respond to Gloria Jeans)

Gloria Jeans has, today, responded to the boycott of their organisation, going viral on the internet. You can read it here on Same Same.

Gloria Jeans Coffees now confirms that in the 2010-2011 tax year it donated $30,000 to the Australian Christian Lobby.

“This was a once off donation during the time of the election… in support of the prime ministerial debate only,” says a spokesperson for the coffee chain today.

“What’s more, it is important to reiterate that we are not religiously affiliated or affiliated to any other beliefs or preferences, including Hillsong,” Gloria Jeans adds.

From the comments so far, it appears the gay community isn’t buying it, and nor am I.  I do accept without question that the franchisees, management and staff of Gloria Jeans may well ’embrace diversity’ but the fact remains that a considerable sum of money from the organisation has gone to the Australian Christian Lobby – the leading anti-gay group in the country.  Further, this is not just a ‘one off’. Gloria Jeans does supply fund-raising support to Hillsong and, in the past, its stores enthusiastically promoted and fund-raised for an organisation responsible for the religious abuse of vulnerable girls.

It will take a great deal more from Gloria Jeans for me to change my view. I would expect an undertaking that the organisation will, in future, refrain from any kind of support (financial or in kind) of any religiously linked organisation and, as a token of their commitment to equality and diversity, a contribution of $30,000 to Australian Marriage Equality or a similar LGBT organisation.

You can see my considered response here:  An Open Letter to Gloria Jeans – not buying the ‘spin’ guys

And follow-up post with more ‘hand-caught-in-the-cookie-jar’ revelations here:  Oh, Gloria Jeans! You’ve done it again!

145 thoughts on “Why I boycott Gloria Jeans Coffee – and you should too

  1. Szebastian-One Satsan-Stellar

    I stopped buying from Gloria Jeans around 5 years ago, which is when I first time found out it supports Hill Song Church, infamous for picketing the funerals of homosexual individuals with placards like ‘God Hates Fags’ and say and do everything that you would not say to an enemy, but a church .. .. seriously? You’d wonder what kind of church is this?

    If you have a touch of soul in you, you’d never buy anything at Gloria Jeans or Borders and spread the word against buying from them! Because Hatred & Homophobia is a poison for community! And Hill Song Church and Gloria Jeans are full of this venom!

  2. Colin Mackay

    Think you missed a link with corrections Victoria at the women’s prison,,,something about cheap labour and providing life skills to inmates, possibly with government funding (the great wealth transfer). It was several years ago, I forget the detail

  3. Christopher Banks

    Great work. We have Gloria Jeans in NZ as well, and I have avoided them because of the homophobic connections but I had no idea of the extent until reading this. Thanks.

  4. Melanie Myers

    I stopped buying dishwater from GJ when I became aware of the Mercy Ministries connection (which is also a prolife/anti-choice organisation). I have on occasion, when no other options have been available, still bought the odd coffee there, but I won’t be doing so anymore now I know they financially support the ACL — an organisation I despise (the reasons for which you have so eloquently put here).

  5. Lynne Jamneck

    Yikes. Thanks for this. I think I ordered a takeaway coffee from a GJ’s in Wellington (NZ) once because I was tired and desperate. It was atrocious. Bitter taste indeed.

  6. Eva Brych

    Gloria Jeans was given an outlet (along with Subway and a couple of others) as part of “privatisation” in the cafeteria at my work. GJ always had a stand with flyers on the counter promoting Mercy Ministries. I think all GJ outlets did, certainly also the one at the local railway station, and maybe they all still do. When the Sydney Morning Herald did their series on MM’s dubious practices a few years ago, I picked up all the brochures and threw them in the bin. Then I wrote a letter of complaint to the Board of Directors that our organisation had no business effectively promoting this crowd to our staff and visitors, but heard nothing back. The brochures re-appeared.

  7. Eva Brych

    Just to add, gays are not the only ones towards whom the Salvation Army have a history of a discriminatory attitude. My mother-in-law was an officer. She graduated as a full “captain” (equivalent of “reverend”) from their London college, and married a captain. The sallies were the only denomination in those days who gave women equal status in that way. HOWEVER. Her husband was killed in the blitz, and when she remarried a few years later it was to a major, so she was required to lower her rank to his. He died of Hong Kong flu in the 50s. Years later she married again, an “ensign” – a non-commissioned officer – and was required to lose her rank altogether. So anti-woman. So sad for her after a lifetime of service. Eva Burrows, on the other hand, never married, and rose to become “general” and international head. Now, maybe the policy my mother-in-law suffered under would not happen these days. It would be interesting to know. You have prompted me to chase that one up Chrys.

    1. Shaz

      Eva – no it doesn’t happen like that these days. Remember to take what happened in the past into context compared to the “times”. TSA has always been very forward thinking about women in ministry, but you need to compare it’s forward thinking to thinking of the day.

      1. Eva Brych

        Thank you Shaz. I’m glad it’s not like that any more. I did mention that TSA was forward thinking early on in the 2 areas of full ministerial status for women, and that a woman could rise to the top. I contrasted this with my mother-in-law’s experience. For Army women of those “times” this “forward thinking” was conditional. I wondered why she tolerated what they did, but then she was a widow with 3 children when demoted to major. A look at The Clergy Project web site will acquaint you with the difficulties faced by clergy who want to leave but can’t.

  8. Rodney Chiang-Cruise

    Thank you Chrys. You are an amazing writer and even more amazing advocate for good in the world. I love reading your words.

    I am share and urging all my friends to boycott / girlcott Gloria Jeans. I encourage them to spread the word.

    There is always an argument that boycotts don’t work, they are counter productive etc etc. But that is only true when the boycott has no basis in fact. Boycotts like those of “One Millions Moms” in the US simply never gain traction because they are not based in any facts what so ever. Boycotts like this can work and should be encouraged.

    Go Chrys!!!!

  9. Calum

    Often Gloria Jeans are in Borders Book store. Is there any link between Borders and these homophobic organisations as well?

    1. Tommy Praxis

      I don’t think so, Calum, although I could be wrong. In any event, Borders filed for bankruptcy and went into liquidation last year, and have closed or sold their stores in most countries. Apparently there are still some Borders stores in the UAE, Malaysia, Oman and New Zealand, but I don’t know if any of them have a Gloria Jeans outlet on their premises.

      1. Kelly James

        Yeah, Tommy & Calum…Borders went the way of Chapter 13 here in the USA (insolvency) and had to liquidate. Sad, really, they were the nearest bookstore to my residence. Ours did not have a GJ, ours-being in California-used Seattle’s Best.

  10. Gabriel

    Maybe a donation to a GLBTI youth organisation, VGLRL, the campaign for queensland association of healthy communities to be refunded, or the Zoe Belle Gender Centre are also ways of fighting homophobia and trans phobia – not just donating to the AME? I think the blog is informative and worthwhile. However the most marginalised and young homeless have a variety of priorities and the AME has no shortage of resources at the minute…

      1. Gabriel

        Yes I rekkon a homelessness organisation to assist homeless glbti youth to replace the Salvation Army would be better. I was a homeless trans youth and I had refuges run by church groups like the salvos as my only option. Many of which so frequently condemned my ‘lifestyle’ that I simply went back in the streets. Unless youth are to marry to find a roof we still need to advocate for young peeps shunned due to sexual and gender identity. Many celebrities in the states have vox’d up about this issue. I think it has legs. Cheers

    1. Tommy Praxis

      Yes. As a gay guy who is involved in the marriage equality campaign, I couldn’t agree more. There are a lot of important groups and organisations working with LGBTIQ people that do not get the same publicity as the marriage campaign, and are therefore often starved for funding.

      I’m trying to find a comprehensive list of orgs that people might want to consider donating to, but haven’t had any luck yet. The ones Gabriel mentions above are all good suggestions, though.

      1. Gabriel

        Hi tommy, good to hear and great to see peeps interested and enthused. Looking up the glbti community directory in your queer paper, talking to a glbti youth liaison officer on local council, or contacting a peak state glbti human rights body could give you a list. Hiv orgs also supply housing to glbti people who are living with HiV, there are disability orgs for glbti people…. 2010 refuge in sydney for homeless youth….The list becomes long with a bit if detective work…You can become a member of community radio and donate to a glbti program as well. The AME is part of many many organisations that glbti and allies can donate to. AME isnt in a list anymore, it sort of became the list. But more so we should be equally politically active in a holistic ways to ensure that orgs like QAHC in qld are not defunded under our noses, that loony redneck governments are not elected, the Equal Opportunity Acts are not broken on our watches. Cheers.

  11. Kevin McDonald

    I knew nothing of this Gloria Jeans association with ACL, Hillsong, etc until I read this alarming post, so thank you for revealing this disgusting information.When will all people wake up to the fact that homosexuality is a genetic trait, just like left-handedness, etc.? We humans are the product of genetic variability. Recent evidence from the emerging science of epigenetics, together with identical twins studies, is providing information on why we are ALL different. It’s not just our DNA, it’s all the extra complexity that comes from the poorly-named “junk” DNA. Bigots, such as the notorious Jim Wallace are just as likely to father a gay/lesbian son or daughter as anyone else in the community. Some very religious people (but otherwise not bigots) have found to their dismay that their son or daughter is gay/lesbian, and most (but not all!) have eventually come to deal with it. There are so many exemplary, marvellous people in history, and today, who are gay, yet still considered second-class citizens. It’s a deplorable situation. Why are some people so cruel to others who are just “different” to them? Why are so many self-confessed “Christians” so filled with HATRED? The churches have brainwashed congregations stoked up with intolerance to anyone who is not like them. As Hitch said so well: “Religion poisons everything”. Even GJ coffee!

  12. Mike Wardrop

    Hi Chrys,

    While I suspect I have differing views from you on a lot of these points, I want to commend you on a well-written and obviously heavily researched article. You write with a fantastic ability to get to your point swiftly.

    I do, however, find it disappointing that you would mix in leading statements with factual information within the post. For example, you make excellent points about Gloria Jeans’ joint venture business dealings and the focus of the ACL, but then make accusations such as,

    “Like Brian Houston from Hillsong, Copeland preaches the ‘prosperity gospel’ – code for the congregation tithes and the pastor gets obscenely rich.”

    No comment on Copeland – I don’t know anything about him – but I think you’d find few people within the Christian community in 2012 who think that this is how Hillsong preach the gospel. Not to mention that the supposed financial ties with Hillsong are speculative, not actual facts.

    “As the owner of Gloria Jeans is a director of Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Australia, one has to wonder how much money from Gloria Jeans is being filtered through to KCM to prop up the Copelands’ extravagant lifestyle and homophobic propaganda.”

    Again, speculation, not facts.

    Finally, the suggestion that the Salvation Army is homophobic is extremely distasteful. As you point out, the Salvos do a great job supporting the homeless, poor and disenfranchised (regardless of sexual orientation) and welcoming people of homosexual orientation into their church communities. Their personal beliefs are against homosexual practice – for them to draw a line in the sand and both welcome them as a valued human being while refusing to budge on their church’s opinion on homosexuality is not homophobia. It’s a decision based on religious convictions and to condemn them for that would be just as distasteful as if someone condemned you for your views here.

    Please don’t take this as an attack, I just recognise that most of the people reading your blog are probably in agreement with your views and wanted to point out that some of what was written/inferred here is inaccurate.

    I look forward to reading more of your writing – you’re a gifted communicator!


    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      I have it on very good authority that Houston, does, indeed preach the Prosperity gospel. Perhaps you should read Tanya Levin’s “People in Glass Houses”. Or, perhaps, pick up a copy of Houston’s book “You Need More Money”. Have you any idea how much money people like Houston, Copeland and Hinn make out of ‘love offerings’ – all tax free? It’s a nice little earner.

      The financial ties with Hillsong are not speculative. Nabi Saleh is a senior member of Hillsong. It is acknowledged that, at the very least, Gloria Jeans supplies coffee carts and coffee supplies to help with Hillsong fundraising. Common sense suggests that if an elder of Hillsong church doles out $30,000 from his business to the ACL, it is highly likely that similar amounts are being contributed to Hillsong. Of course, as Hillsong doesn’t open its books, that’s impossible to know.

      The Salvation Army is homophobic. They do not accept gay people in relationships into their organisation and they do not support marriage equality.

      This may be instructive:

      “Since 1986 the Salvation Army has engaged in five major assaults on the LGBT community’s civil rights and attempted to carve out exemptions that would allow them to deny gays and lesbians needed services as well as employment.

      When New Zealand considered passage of the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986, the Salvation Army collected signatures in an attempt to get the legislation killed. The act decriminalized consensual sex between gay men. The measure passed over the charity’s objections.

      In the United Kingdom, the Salvation Army actively pushed passage of an amendment to the Local Government Act. The amendment stated that local authorities “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” The law has since been repealed, but it led many schools and colleges to close LGBT student organizations out of fear they’d lose their government funding.

      In 2001, the organization tried to extract a resolution from the White House that they could ignore local non-discrimination laws that protected LGBT people. While the commitment would have applied to all employees, the group claimed that it needed the resolution so it “did not have to ordain sexually active gay ministers and did not have to provide medical benefits to the same-sex partners of employees.” After lawmakers and civil rights activists revealed the Salvation Army’s active resistance to non-discrimination laws, the White House admitted the charity was seeking the exemptions.

      Also in 2001, the evangelical charity actively lobbied to change how the Bush administration would distribute over $24 billion in grants and tax deductions by urging the White House deny funding to any cities or states that included LGBT non-discrimination laws. Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary, issued a statement saying the administration was denying a “regulation sought by the church to protect the right of taxpayer-funded religious organizations to discriminate against homosexuals.”

      In 2004, the Salvation Army threatened to close all their soup kitchens in New York City to protest the city’s decision to require all vendors and charities doing business with the city to adhere to all civil rights laws. The organization balked at having to treat gay employees equal to straight employees.
      I’ve seen the discrimination the Salvation Army preaches first hand. When a former boyfriend and I were homeless, the Salvation Army insisted we break up before they’d offer assistance. We slept on the street instead and declined to break up as they demanded.”


      Like Hillsong, the Salvation Army has also been a bit shonky with government funding. For example, in 2006, the Salvation Army, was found to have misused $9 million of taxpayer-funded grants by wrongly reclassifying jobseekers as ‘highly disadvantaged’ in order to attract a higher service fee.

      A close friend who joined the Sallies some years ago and has worked her arse off selling their magazine in pubs has recently quit the organisation. She said, “They’re not interested in people, they’re only interested in money.”

      Finally, I am not a journalist. I am a blogger/opinion writer. You will find that any factual data I put into my blog will be hyperlinked to evidence. If I make a mistake, I am always happy to correct it. Sometimes I do make inferences from the evidence available. I think this is fair, providing the inference is reasonable and based on a background of evidence. For example, if there was no evidence that Gloria Jeans donated money to religious organisations favoured by its owners, it would be irresponsible to suggest ‘out of the blue’ that Saleh might donate to KCM. But, I believe it is a reasonable inference, consistent with the company’s proven record of religious donations and support.

      In any case where I speculate, based on evidence, I make this very plain (as I have in this article). I trust my readers are intelligent enough to know the difference and to draw their own conclusions. Those who disagree with my reasoning are welcome to state their objections in comments.

      1. Mike Wardrop

        I think you’re confusing the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ – that is, the false idea that the Bible teaches that God wants Christians to be wealthy – with love offerings and tithes, which are separate forms of giving and managed by individual churches. The Prosperity Gospel is a form of teaching independent to that entirely.

        I don’t think you’ve distinguished here between Nabi Saleh’s likely personal financial donations and Gloria Jeans’ corporate donations, though I acknowledge it could have happened and I see where you’ve drawn the inference from.

        Hillsong’s financial dealings are actually open – at least in part. From their website:
        “Hillsong Church operates an open book policy whereby congregation members are welcome to make an appointment to inspect the audited financial results of the church”

        Finally, once again, while some of the examples you gave from the Salvation Army above appear discriminatory, disagreement with homosexual practice is not in itself homophobia.

      2. Leah

        Brian Houston definitely preaches prosperity doctrine. It is one of the biggest reasons why I and many Christians I know avoid Hillsong and its wannabe fanclub-churches like the plague. My husband attended one of those fanclub-churches before we were married and we have several friends who still do.

        However, contrary to Gladly, I despise the way the ‘homophobia’ label is slapped on anyone who disagrees with homosexuality. I disagree with homosexuality and would not like to see, for example, homosexual marriage legalised, however it is not like I hate gay people. It also trivialises phobias, which are irrational fears people have that can be so crippling they can end up hyperventilating, unable to move and potentially hospitalised in severe cases. So I believe the term ‘homophobia’ is offensive to several groups of people.

      3. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

        Yes, it’s so unfair isn’t it? Calling people who oppose full equality for gay people ‘homophobic’ is just like calling all those nice Christians who held no malice against African-Americans, but just didn’t want them sharing their schools or marrying their daughters, racist. People can be so unkind.

        Perhaps you should compare your narrow views with this particularly nasty passive-aggressive piece of racism. In Arkansas, a statement signed by eighty ministers explained the Church’s view on integration:

        “This statement is not made with any enmity or hatred in our hearts for the Negro race. We have an abiding love for all people . . . [But] [w]e believe that the best interests of all races are served by segregation …We resent the implication by certain liberal ministers that it is un-Christian to oppose integration. We believe that integration is contrary to the will of God … is based on a false theory of the ‘universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man.’ We believe that integration is not only un-Christian, but that it violates all sound sociological principles and is not supported by Scripture or by biological facts.”

        Sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?

      4. Shaz

        Oh good grief…… TSA doesn’t SELL its magazines. It is a way to connect with the community. And they are entitled to their belief system. Just as you are to yours.

      5. Gabriel

        Mike – the salvos are homophobes. The last thing you need to hear when you are homeless because your parents throw you out cos you are queer at 14 – is that the shelter you rely on wont employ people that are glbti. The message ya get is that you go from homeless to jobless. It is a shame in my opinion that the glbti community isnt campaigning as much to reverse the ammendments in the victorian equal opportunity act as the marriage act. I was single when I was on the streets, there are many kinship arrangements that glbti people rely on as well… Glbti single folk and widows, are lost in all this marriage business, and under the EO act ammendments the employment of glbti people is at risk. But I digress. Basically telling people their way of being/ their lives are not equal to hour own is not only rude but not factual. The salvation army has had no qualms moving beyond service provision and into anti gay policy making the lives of marginalised glbti people all the more difficult. For all the faith that some people have that Christianity or their version of it is superior, my faith equally lacks in their motivations. It is nothing but convenient and justified persecution of others. I would never ever donate to the salvos.

      6. Ken Dally

        Mike, on rare occasions I have seen Brian Houston on his Hillsong broadcasts on the Australian Christian Channel, he most definitely preaches Prosperity Gospel and is often heard saying God wants you to be rich.

        On the matter of open books I am quite sure if you asked anybody from the ATO if Hillsong has open books they would confirm that most of their financial dealings are opaque even to the tax office.

  13. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    Mike, I am not confusing the Prosperity gospel with love offerings. Houston preaches the prosperity gospel. In fact, it is widely preached within the AoG churches. I know this because my own brother was a victim of it.

    Here’s a record of Houston preaching at a Prosperity conference in San Diego:

    Prosperity with a Purpose Conference
    By The City Church in The City Church SD over 1 year ago | 1221 views Link: http://bit.ly/c7zFIF |
    The City Church San Diego Video Conference.

    “God wants to prosper you for His purposes. The world’s top generosity speakers have a message that will transform the way you give and the way you live.”

    Conference Schedule

    Thursday, October 21:
    7:00pm-9:00pm General Session 1, Pastor Brian Houston

    I am speaking of Nabi Saleh’s corporate donations. The Gloria Jeans carts and coffee supplies for Hillsong obviously come from GJ’s. The donation to the ACL was from Gloria Jeans. Gloria Jeans financially supported Mercy Ministries. Given that track record, it is not unreasonable to assume that GJ’s as a corporate entity may also support KCM.

    Hillsong’s books being ‘open’ only to congregation members is hardly ‘open’. And I seem to recall that when congregation members not in favour with the church asked to see the books they were refused. (I would have to check on that – drawing on memory here).

    The word homophobia is now used colloquially in a broad sense to mean those who favour discriminatory practices against LGBT people. As this is based on a ‘fear’ of what might happen if gay people were given full equality I believe the adjective is appropriately used in connection with both the ACL, KCM and the Salvation Army.

  14. Mungo

    Excellent article, really appreciate your work on this. The church really has a very long ways to go on the issue of homosexuality and hopefully the more unacceptable it becomes for businesses to run off the back of these attitudes, he less prevalent these attitudes will become.

    I have been a Christian for about five years now but have never accepted to mainstream church’s teaching on this and never will. I don’t believe for a moment that Jesus would either.

  15. clarence

    This article wasn’t about boycotting Gloria Jeans… it was about slamming Christian organisations who opposed gay marriage. You were very right on a lot of levels – Wallace’s views are out of line.
    However attacking the Salvation Army because they don’t accept homosexuals to work for them? They are a church organisation who’s members work to promote the teachings of the Bible – their reasoning is not because they hate homosexuals or think they should be excluded from the activities of the Salvation Army altogether (as you can see they invite homosexuals to join them in worship etc). Their reasons are because if you want to work for the Salvos you need to be a Bible believing Christian, and if you’re a PRACTICING homosexual then you’d be ignoring one of the Bible’s teachings and probably would struggle to hold up the rest of the Bible’s authority to others. There are many more deep and complicated reasons why they wouldn’t accept a homosexual to work for them, but just like any other organisation they have the right to discriminate based on the JOB DESCRIPTION. It is not discrimination just for the sake of it.
    I think sometimes people forget that discrimination happens all the time on many levels for totally appropriate reasons – eg, they wouldn’t cast a red head to play an african character in a movie. Its not because they hate redheads and think they should go die. Its because a redhead doesn’t fit the job description.

    rant over

      1. clarence

        The Bible is very clear on homosexuality and the purpose of marriage. Lots of Christians find it hard to come to terms with what it says – some choose to reject it’s teachings, some accept them. Thats their choice, like you said. But as a holistically Christian organisation, I don’t blame the Salvos for staying true to what the Bible says.

        Out of interest, would you label me a bigot for not wanting to redefine marriage, but not being against the formation of a homosexual equivalent?

      2. Calum

        Please define what “staying true to what the Bible says” means. Also, what do you mean by “redefine marriage”? The bible redefined marriage lots of times. When you say “biblical definition of marriage, you had better be clear about what you mean. Do you mean one man, his wife, and many concubines? Do you mean a woman having to marry her dead husbands brother? Do you mean one man and 700 wives or concubines? What exactly is the “biblical definition” of marriage? All those, and more, are biblically sanctioned forms of marriage.

        Furthermore, if christians, including the salvation army, were to be consistent in what they teach, they would also prevent people from wearing clothes made of mixed fibres (i.e., cotton/polyester blends), they would also be against the eating of shellfish, they would be against tattoos, yet none of their teachings state this. You should also note that according to christian principles (i.e., new testament, instead of old), christians would be against divorce, yet how many of today’s christian leadership have been divorced, and remarried and divorced again?

        Hardly consistent.

        So when it comes to an ill-translated *new testament* passage supposedly about homosexuality, when the rest of the passage, and indeed the mistranslated word itself, have religious overtones, indicating sex as a form of worship through temple prostitution, these christians wave the bible as if it were truth, claiming “the bible says …”. Well, I’m sorry, actually, no, I’m not sorry, claiming something must be because the bible claims it (i.e., the vox deus argument, or voice of god) has as much validity as the deus ex machina.

        And if you are going to try to claim that Paul *had* to invent a word to mean homosexual, you are wrong. I suggest you look at Aristophanes play “Wasps”, which uses a word meaning “homosexual”. A word that was part of patristic literature, and which Paul, and other biblical writers, being part of the judeo-hellenic world, would have been entirely aware of.

      3. Jamie

        The same book of the Bible that outlaws homosexuality also outlaws shellfish, tattoos, picking up grapes that have fallen in your vineyard, and mixing fabrics in clothing,. So why is it that religious bigots don’t lobby the government to outlaw all of these, like they do with homosexuality? Why do they get to pick and choose which proclamations of a genocidal maniac they adhere to, and which ones they can ignore?

      4. Kimberly

        Love and support to cross-eyed bear. You are the only one making sense here.

    1. Lol-la-lol

      Ok so by your reasoning if you are ignoring ANY of the bibles teachings then you could never possibly represent a Christian organisation.. So wow! everyone of the people who works for the salvos must have given all their weath to the poor, be married to their siblings widows, never divorced, have half a million children (since contraception is anti Christian), etc. What nonsense! there is no way that every single person who works for this organization follows every single of the bibles teachings, therefore you are being DISCRIMINATORY because you are not excluding every single person who does not actively follow every single teaching of the bible, you have arbitaraly chosen a single bible teaching and chosen to exclude people on this specific teaching only…

      Man I would love to see an organization that could actually find employees based on the bible as a job description! (as they say those without sin please throw the first stone) :D! ( Hehe troll-a-lol-la-lol-la-lol)

      1. clarence

        This is one of those situations where I could sit here all day explaining what would be defined as a ‘Biblical’ definition of marriage is (I’d base it on Genesis 2), what parts of the bible are to be taken as an example to follow and what parts are not, why I’m ok with wearing a polyester shirt and eating shellfish… all that jazz.

        But I know you don’t really want to hear that – you all sound like you’ve done your reading and you don’t need me to tell you what I think, you’ve formed your views already and thats cool. I just came here to get some insight on this debate and to find out the roots of why society thinks its unacceptable to hold an opposing view to legalising gay marriage. And I have gained an insight so thats great. I apologise for coming off as taking the ‘moral high ground’ on the salvos issue – thats not what I intended to do, but you know we all get fired up now and then.

        I’m sure that marriage will be legalised for homosexuals soon, and I’m not going to be parading in the street and signing petitions to stop it. I’m just a Christian struggling to come to terms with loving others but also following what I think God wants. Hope that ok with you guys.

    2. Shaz

      I think many are confusing working for the Salvos with being an Officer. You can be an employee of TSA and be atheist. There is no regulation (in Australia) that says that you have to even be a believer unless your job entails some Christian aspect. HOWEVER an Officer is a Minister of Religion. You can’t be a minister preaching from the bible if you are actively gay. Sorry but that is like me being a Christian and choosing to be a Hindu priest (or whatever the correct term is). To be a minister you must believe in the Bible. And the Christian faith believes the Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong. Simple as that. However, despite its belief, TSA sees every individual as worthy of Gods love and therefore TSA’s support.

  16. Leah

    I would like to say that I am no fan of Jim Wallace. He is in a PR job but all his training is military. He might have good intentions but he is getting terrible advice/training about how to present himself publicly. However the tweet re: ANZACs is clearly a dig at politicians and lobby groups who are attempting to change significant sections of Australian law, eg. gay marriage, sharia law, etc. I do not see how it is disrespectful in any way to the servicemen and women. I have actually read opinions from WW2 veterans etc who have expressed the same attitude – ‘I didn’t fight and my mates didn’t die for a country that XYZ’ (was Muslim/had gay marriage/whatever other political issue they don’t like).

    I am also appalled that you would criticise the Salvation Army in this way. I think they have appropriately balanced their desire to stick to their convictions (that homosexuality is wrong) yet still love homosexual people. It is disgusting that our society has come to the point where a person or organisation is criticised and demonised for sticking to their convictions with total disregard to the enormous good they do in society. It is not like the Salvos refuse to house, feed or help homosexuals. That would be a problem. It is not like they refuse to let them join in at church. They simply refuse them full membership, and with good reason: they believe the bible teaches homosexuality is wrong, so a homosexual clearly doesn’t align with their beliefs. Why would you give full membership to a person who doesn’t agree with your values? Few other organisations or companies in the world would do that.

    And that is definitely not ‘homophobic’. You could, perhaps, call them ‘homophobic’ if they were turning away gays at their shelters and refusing them social assistance. But they are not. I think you are just as ‘phobic’ of people/organisations that disagree with homosexuality as they are, apparently, of homosexuals.

    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      Apparently they are turning away gay couples from their shelters: I’ve seen the discrimination the Salvation Army preaches first hand. When a former boyfriend and I were homeless, the Salvation Army insisted we break up before they’d offer assistance. We slept on the street instead and declined to break up as they demanded.”


  17. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    Clarence wrote: “Out of interest, would you label me a bigot for not wanting to redefine marriage, but not being against the formation of a homosexual equivalent?”

    Let me ask you this, Clarence, would you label me a racist if I said I thought Aborigines should be able to travel on public transport, but not on the same buses as white people?

    That’s your answer.

    1. clarence

      Busses, by definition are not designed to only take a single colour of person onboard. It makes no difference to the bus’s operation whether you put 5 white guys and 5 black guys on, or 10 white guys on the bus. It is not inherent to the use of a bus what colour the people on it are.

      1. Geoffrey Brent

        And allowing same-sex couples to marry makes no difference to the operation of my opposite-sex marriage. As a man married to a woman, I’m fed up with fundies who claim they’re “defending” my marriage.

        As for the claims that the Bible obviously forbids homosexuality… I don’t claim to be a Christian myself, but this guy is, and he’s far from convinced: http://reallivepreacher.com/node/868

      2. Calum

        Actually Clarence, it used to be. Both in the Southern States of the US, and in South Africa prior to the demolition of apartheid. In the Southern States of the USA prior to Rosa Parks, it was illegal to serve black and white together. They had their separate places. In South Africa during the apartheid regime, they not only had separate places for black and white, but different transport, different toilets, different beaches, etc. And, of course, inter-racial marriage was also illegal in the Southern US States, just as it was during apartheid South Africa.

        Bus companies, and other businesses, in the Southern US States who allowed black and white to mix back then could get in serious trouble, not only with the law, but with the people in white dresses and pointy hats that covered their faces. In apartheid South Africa, the law severely punished those who broke it. Then, of course, in both places, there was the social ostracism that occurred.

        Of course, we (or rather, most civilised nations) recognise now that there is no difference to a businesses operation whether you hire black or white, str8 or gay. Sadly, some people, and some nations, are still stuck in that sort of apartheid time-frame, and as they can no longer pick on people of colour, they choose something else that “makes” a difference.

        Your reply in regards to biblical “teaching” also reinforces the “pick and choose” nature of biblical verses. Once the bible was used to condone racism, slavery, etc., but now those verses are neatly tucked away and ignored, simply because society has moved on and realised the colour of a person’s skin makes no difference. Once people realise the same about a whole lot of other biblical (or ) verses, the world would be a better place.

  18. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    Honestly, there are days when I find myself holding much more respect for the unvarnished bigotry of Westboro Baptist Church than I do for the smarmy, passive-aggressive whinings of ‘nice middle-class’ Christians who visit this blog with their some-of-my-best-friends-are-gay-I-just-don’t-want-them-to-be equal sophistry.

    My friend Jane Douglas spent two decades ensconced in Bible-believing fundamentalism and she has recently been chatting with Fred and Shirley Phelps’ (of Westboro Baptist Church) atheist son, Nate. Both Jane and Nate – very well versed in their Bibles and very familiar with Christian fundamentalism – agree that the views so openly expressed by Westboro are actually endorsed in private by a majority of conservative Christians. I am very much looking forward to them expanding on this view in an article.

    If you think homosexuality is not a normal part of human sexuality. If you think there is something ‘disordered’ about being homosexual. If you think homosexuality is a ‘choice’. If you think homosexuals couples do not parent as well as heterosexual couples. If you think homosexuals should be equal but separate in respect to marriage. If you think that homosexuals pose a risk to children. Then, you have ignorantly ignored the consensus of mainstream psychological and sociological research which says otherwise and, yes, you are as much of a bigot as the red necked racist who opposed Civil Rights in America in the 1960s and the ghastly outspoken Christian extremists of the Westboro Baptist Church.

    Do not come to this blog thinking you are one whit better than them. Do not try to take the moral high ground. It won’t wash here.

    1. abbie noiraude

      Hear hear!!
      Wonderful comebacks.
      Your energy level impresses me, no end.

      Thank you.

      What part of ‘equality’ don’t these ‘good Christian folk’ DON’T understand?

  19. Jen Eddington

    Thank you for your wonderful information the reach of a the ACL is seeming all encompassing at the moment . I am involved in Public Education and the tentacles of this organisation are entwining very covertly the Chaplin s in schools programmes. This is resulting in more marginalisation of teens who are gay or questioning where they fit with the world.

    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      Jen, if you have a particular interest in chaplaincy (as I do) I hope you’re aware of the Australian Secular Lobby http://www.australiansecularlobby.com/ , Back in the Act http://backintheact.com/ and the Secular Public Education Lobby (SPEL) – all run by my dear friends Ron Williams (NSCP High Court Challenge) and Hugh Wilson. The video on the SPEL website if particularly instructive for those who don’t realise how evangelicals (including Minister Peter Garrett) have manipulated this ‘Christian ministry’ in our state schools (using tax payers’ money)!

      If you (or any of my readers) has a story to tell about chaplaincy or religious instruction being misused in schools, please contact the Australian Secular Lobby at asl@australiansecularlobby.com – Hugh would love to hear from you!

  20. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    Gloria Jeans responds to boycott

    Gloria Jeans has, today, responded to the boycott of their organisation, going viral on the internet. You can read it here on Same Same. http://www.samesame.com.au/news/local/8530/Gloria-Jeans-We-embrace-equality-and-diversity.htm

    Gloria Jeans Coffees now confirms that in the 2010-2011 tax year it donated $30,000 to the Australian Christian Lobby.

    “This was a once off donation during the time of the election… in support of the prime ministerial debate only,” says a spokesperson for the coffee chain today.

    “What’s more, it is important to reiterate that we are not religiously affiliated or affiliated to any other beliefs or preferences, including Hillsong,” Gloria Jeans adds.

    From the comments so far, it appears the gay community isn’t buying it, and nor am I. I do accept without question that the franchisees, management and staff of Gloria Jeans may well ’embrace diversity’ but the fact remains that a considerable sum of money from the organisation has gone to the Australian Christian Lobby – the leading anti-gay group in the country. Further, this is not just a ‘one off’. Gloria Jeans does supply fund-raising support to Hillsong and, in the past, its stores enthusiastically promoted and fund-raised for an organisation responsible for the religious abuse of vulnerable girls.

    It will take a great deal more from Gloria Jeans for me to change my view. I would expect an undertaking that the organisation will, in future, refrain from any kind of support (financial or in kind) of any religiously linked organisation and, as a token of their commitment to equality and diversity, a contribution of $30,000 to Australian Marriage Equality or a similar LGBT organisation.

  21. Adam vanLangenberg

    I hate coffee and never drink it, but if I did I wouldn’t drink Gloria Jean’s.

    Maybe I should take up coffee in order to boycott them properly…

  22. Bob

    I don’t touch Gloria Jeans unless there’s no other option anyway. (And if there’s no other option, well sorry, I need my coffee.)

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  24. silkworm

    I remember the Mercy House controversy of 2008. One of the “problems” that some of the girls were treated for was lesbianism (even if they were straight), and the chief means of treatment were exorcism and prayer. These treatments were also doled out to girls suffering from anorexia. These girls were cut off from contact with the outside world, except for a weekly trip to the Hillsong Church. Gloria Jeans was an active sponsor of Mercy House at the time.

  25. Colin Mackay

    Thought this might be relevant
    “One of the notable things about religious charitable giving is that a large chunk of it goes directly to co-religionists (so-called ‘within-group’ giving). This differs according to religion – so 90% of the money that Mormons give to charity goes to other Mormons, and 80% of evangelical Christian charity goes to other evangelical Christians (Chen & Lind). At the other end of the scale are Catholics, at 50%, and Jews, at 40%.”
    ( http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.com/2008/10/how-religion-makes-people-vote-right.html )

  26. Pingback: Why I boycott Gloria Jeans Coffee – and you should too « Gladly, the … – What Is Abuse

  27. Kevin McDonald

    I note in this thread of emails some people referring to the Christian Bible as if that collection of ancient writings gave any credible judgment about homosexuality. The books of the Bible were written a couple of thousand years ago by people who knew very little about science, genetics, etc., and, in any event, there are many inconsistencies throughout its pages. Many enlightened people these days take little, if any, “guidance” from the Bible. Indeed there is much repugnant material in it, including approval of keeping slaves, treating women as chattels, etc. There is not a scrap of evidence that any gods exist, nor is there any evidence about an “afterlife”, souls, effectiveness of praying, second comings, and so on. It belongs to the realm of the supernatural and superstition. Ancient peoples believed in those things because it was the only way they could make sense of life and death. So why should people bother about what the Bible says about homosexuality (these days: gays, lesbians, etc)? The only statement that makes sense to me is the so-called Golden Rule. Simple. Among the best values are those of tolerance of people who are different to you. For anyone who wants to read about the increasing widespread disillusionment about religion, “god”, etc, I recommend: From Faith to Reason, by Brian Baker. Drop a copy of this book into your nearest Gloria Jeans coffee shop!

    1. Jarrad Schiller

      It’s their belief! It’s got nothing to do with if its wrong or right or how old it is or how much science there is to back it up. Your saying that homosexual people should be given the right to be married and follow their belief and that at the same time Christian’s should loose their rights to believe in their religion and church. You quoted this line … Among the best values are those of tolerance of people who are different to you … and then say the complete opposite in the rest of you post LOL! … tolerance of people who are different to you .. that includes people who think different than you!

  28. Jarrad Schiller

    Hay Andrew I read the Article and I have thought about this Subject and I have to say that the Issue always seems to get clouded. So I just wanted to break it into the two obvious part’s. One part is the issue of the government dictating and controlling religion. In this sense that’s totally wrong and it needs to stop other than for paedophiles and polygamy. Every person needs to be equal and have equal rights. And here is where the Gay Couples being Married debate get’s cloudy. How can you give one group rights by taking away another group’s rights. Gay couples want to get Married and that’s great and I’m all for it! in doing so they should not be allowed to persecute religious organisations that through following their religion choose not to support gay marriage. There is the problem! If there is a local church that doesn’t support gay marriage and there is a church that dose what makes one worse than the other? They are just people following doctrine that has been set down through what they consider the word of god. Everyone interprets this in a different manner! I can read a sentence and get some knowledge from it you can read the same sentence and take something totally different from it and we have absolutely every right to do that as we aren’t robot’s. The thing that Annoys me about this article is yes the group that is saying that Gay marriage should be banned cause of the children that man is a moron and really has no idea. But saying that the Salvation Army is a bad organisation due to their religious view’s well guess what they are a religious organisation. And religion is a prickly subject at the best of time! So my point is this! You Cannot give one group rights while taking away another group’s right’s. You can’t stop people from free thought speech or telling us how they feel and it’s wrong to persecute any religious body for their beliefs! If you don’t like something someone is saying or what a group is thinking well guess what don’t listen don’t look and block them from your life. Anyhow this is what I think and I’m sure if the correct question was actually polled and put to a vote more people would be able to vote the right and clear way. The Vote is simple should a Government dictate to a church/religious group who can and can’t get married other than for reason’s of age or polygamy. Let’s put that to a vote and see what people think and stop clouding the issue!

    1. Jarrad Schiller

      Sorry I didn’t take the name Andrew out of my comment! My mistake.
      I’m just sick of the groups who are for Gay Marriage and think not only should it be legal but at that same moment very religious group and church in the world will fling their doors open and accept them with open arms. I’m not going to force gay people not to marry and I’m not going to force a church to marry them and I’m not going to force religious group’s to employ them. I wish that people would stop confusing the issue acting like it’s all one problem when really its two. Let’s make it legal then deal with where you’re going to work and get married.

  29. Sue McDonald

    I refuse to buy there due to the lack of service. After waiting while two staff members had a private conversation with each other, then they totally ignored my daughter & I & served the people standing behind us. I said out loudly “looks like they don’t want our money here!” And walked out. Never stepped foot in one since

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  33. Kas Grigonis

    The company that is trading as Gloria Jeans is called Jireh International Pty Ltd. Jireh is the Hebrew verb meaning “to provide” and is commonly known in the term “Jehovah jireh”, meaning “God will provide”. Also, in the book of Genesis, Jehovah-jireh is the place where God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering, (Abraham named the place as such after God provided him with a ram to sacrifice instead of Isaac).

    The North American affiliate set up for Jireh International Pty Ltd (trading as Gloria Jeans) is called Praise International North America Incorporated.

    The links between church and addictive drug peddling… sorry… coffee selling… to the world couldn’t get much stronger 🙂

  34. Pingback: Oh, Gloria Jeans! You’ve done it again! « Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear

  35. Paul Murray

    It’s worth noting that “Salvos” stores are simply for-profit second-hand stores that license the name. A disgusting practise: allowing stores that are not charities to pretend that they are. It should be no more legal than allowing a dentist to license out their dentistry degree for money. These licensees would no more be dentists than these stores are charities.
    Shouldn’t be legal.

      1. Paul Murray

        I came across this issue cleaning out my mun’s place after she died last August. Agreed – I don’t have concrete facts. Just anecdotes: person in need walks into a “salvos store”, ask for a blanket, gets given a “dude, don’t you get it?” face.
        The thing is that volunteers work for these places, people donate stuff, unaware that it isn’t really a charity. If this is the case, then I think it ought not be legal for salvos to license out their name in this way.
        Not that I didn’t appreciate having a place to dump the unwanted contents of mum’s home. But the furniture went to a real charity.

      2. shaz

        Icant speak for the north eastern states… But what is termed as tge southern territory of TSA this is not the case. And all profits go bac into the social work of TSA.

  36. Tim

    Here’s the letter GJC *should* have put out to stem this:
    GJC would like to sincerely apologise for the message sent by this donation to the ACL, which in hindsight was done without consideration to the morals for which they stand for.
    GJC would like to make it abundantly clear that we support the rights of the entire GLBT community, and that they should be granted each and every right, free from discrimination, intolerance and abuse, as any other member of society, regardless of their relationships and private life.

    In also recognising this massive error on our part, we would also like to ensure anyone concerned by this issue that no further donations of support in any way will be given to the ACL whilst they continue in this line of behaviour which aims only to demean individuals for a reason that is of absolutely no harm or detriment to those so vehemently against that lifestyle.

    We again accept complete responsibility and sincerely apologise for any offence and anguish caused by this situation.

    But what do you reckon the chances of that happening are? 🙂 Slim to none.
    GJC, you’re welcome to just cut and paste this if you’d like to do the right thing 😉

  37. benji

    i hate the ideas of gays marrying as much as I hate religion and everything it stands for.

  38. Pingback: Gloria Jeans In a Latte Trouble | mophosophical

  39. Penny

    Homophobic (meaning fear of) is a term used by the gay community. I don’t think people are afraid of gay people for starters. People have the right to be gay, straight, bi, whatever they want. That is the freedom offered to all. Muselim, Christian, Jewish, Seik, Hindu all have their set of beliefs of which they are entitled to have (the same as any gay person). I find it interesting that the gay community mock Christians calling them homophobic and yet they say nothing about Muselims who have the same beliefs. I think this is a good place to use the word phobic….. If a Christian or anyone else of any particular religion have a belief, they are entitled to voice it the same as a gay person has the right to voice their belief. Boycotting a coffee shop is ridiculous and quite petty. If any business feels they’d like to donate their money to any particular cause, they have the right to do so. If the gay community want to open their own coffee shop and donate money to their particular cause (although I’m not sure if they feed the homeless, run soup kitchens, run opportunity shops, house needy families or alike) but if they do, then they can donate to these causes. I for one will now ensure I shop at Gloria Jeans if only for the reason that I disagree with this type of boycott and believe in freedom and fairness for all (Gays and Straights alike).

    1. Tim

      When a balaclava-wearing guy walks in to a bank with a gun, your priority should be dealing with the guy in front of you, not the other thousand gun-owners who are planning the same. In Australia, right now Christians are the ones waving their arms around like crazy people – we’ll deal with the Muslims later. Followed gradually by any other backwards hate group that feels it’s still harmful to society.
      I think people are more likely to believe the sane than someone on the ‘omg, terrorist’ bandwagon who can’t spell Muslim.

      1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

        Colin, I’ve edited this comment, although I do agree with the sentiment expressed. Penny, sorry it’s taken me some time to edit – my computer has been out of action for the past couple of days. I encourage lively debate here and I have been known, myself, to tell commenters to f-off. Host’s perogative, I guess. I do have to draw the line at personal epithets even where I might agree they are well deserved. The thing is, and I do hope you’ll understand Colin, that if I don’t allow name-calling against people I agree with, I equally have to rule it out against people I disagree with.

    2. Amy

      Finally someone else knows the meaning of a phobia! Just because you do not agree with something (such as gay) does not mean you are afraid.

  40. Pingback: Gloria Jeans In a Latte Trouble | Skepticated

  41. Fred

    What a load of crap. Gloria Jean’s still taste great.
    If you are to check up on where companies put their money, then you should boycott EVERYONE. They are all dodgy!!!

    But you know what? It is their business where they put THEIR money. It is their profit, and you attacking their opinion about homosexuality is no different than them attacking yours. So you are both in the same boat.

    I stopped reading the article after a few paragraphs. Doesn’t take a genius to see that whoever wrote the above article was just one sided in his/her view and wanted nothing more than to de-fame Gloria Jean’s. Very bias article.

    PS: I am not defending Gloria Jean’s nor am I attacking the righter. I am just stating how it is.

    I am stick of people thinking they have any say where business owners put their money. It is no one’s business, just like it is no one’s business telling you what to do with your salary!

  42. Pingback: The Gloria Jeans Boycott. | Spankalicious

  43. Sarah

    The author has not done her research properly. I don’t think any facts were checked at all. Just made up. Two main issues I can see straight away which are starling wrong is the facts about child abuse. The largest and most objective study – Regenerus 2012 You’re more likely to have been forced to have sex unwillingly – big difference – 8 % in a normal household versus 31 percent in a household led by lesbians. The second big issue is the discrimination being encouraged against a business that supports Christians. This reminds me on Nazi’s putting the star of David on the shop fronts of Jewish shops or supporters of Jews. Same level of hatred.

    1. Calum

      As any person involved in social sciences knows, the Regnerus “study” of 2012 had numerous errors, and cannot be used to prove anything. Regnerus himself admitted the study was only done to please his backers, an evangelical christian group, and was written to please them. Furthermore, there are problems with the way in which he defines same sex couples. For the most part, the children were brought up in heterosexual families where one of the partners left to become lesbian or gay. Often the children were already in their teens before this happened, and much of the abuse, etc., happened while they were in an opposite sex household. Often the parent deemed to be lesbian or gay had not left the household at the time, and had not self identified as lesbian or gay, and thus the children grew up in an opposite sex household. Regnerus, like Farley, had an ideology to prove, and tried to do just that, even if it meant using dodgy statistics and methods. He, and the editors of that issue, were taken to task over the problems with his methods. I’m surprised anyone tried to use that laughable excuse for a study as “evidence”. You can see Regnerus admit the errors here: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/10/30/1110591/regnerus-admits-gay-parenting/. Further critiques of Regnerus can be seen here: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/13/opinion/la-oe-frank-same-sex-regnerus-family-20120613 and here: http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2013-03-29/new-documents-contradict-regnerus-claims-on-gay-parenting-study/ and here: http://wakingupnow.com/blog/regnerus-admits-he-lacks-the-data-to-critique-same-sex-parenting-so-why-is-he-doing-it and in numerous other places, all within a handy 10 second search on the net. But the most damning is probably the letter from his peers, academics who found errors galore in his methods and reporting: http://familyinequality.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/200-researchers-respond-to-regnerus-paper/. I think you should have a grain of salt to take with his study.

      1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

        Thank you Calum. I was too busy sighing and rolling my eyes at the Nazi comment to muster the energy to dispute the shonky Regnerus study. Lyle Shelton of the Australian Christian Lobby tried to roll that one out when we appeared on ABC Radio together, recently. It’s a joke that of all the studies that support the premise that children do equally well (or better) with same-sex parents, the bigots continue to cling to this lonesome little discredited study.

  44. Pingback: Why I boycott Gloria Jeans Coffee - and you sho...

  45. Anonymous for safety

    Just an heads up on the Salvation Army. Please read ALL the positions of the Salvation Army. Soldiers cannot drink, smoke, take drugs, watch porn or have sex outside of marriage. This is a much more encompassing this. And TSA in Australia have 2 homosexual officers (ministers)
    So sure, boycott donating to them. But when you are in need (because NONE of the money is spent debate in this matter) you’ll have nowhere to go cause unfortunately st Vincent’s and all church groups that are heading up most of the welfare program’s around Australia have a position statement against it. So please stop donating and see where the people that REALLY need us can get the help.

    1. Calum

      And TSA in Australia have 2 homosexual officers (ministers)

      As if this makes up for all the years, the decades of mistreatment of LGBT individuals who sought help from the Sallies world wide but were turned away or forced to hide their real selves so they could get treatment. As if this makes up for the campaigns by the Sallies world wide against LGBT equal rights. As if this makes up for decades of using money donated by LGBT people against them. And you think we should just forgive and forget, and happily hand over money to them.

      Umm, no.

      I know of people in New Zealand who attempted suicide because of what the Sallies did to them. I have been told about people committing suicide because actions by the Sallies, and their “pray the gay away” in Aus, NZ, and other places.

      The only reason that
      church groups that are heading up most of the welfare program’s around Australia
      is because a government headed by a former seminarian thinks people of faith are good, and are the “right people” to head these. It is patently false.

      1. silkworm

        There are plenty of secular charities to donate to if you just bothered to look. Just this week I donated some household goods to the Red Cross.

  46. Hannah

    This stuff is not new. Gloria jeans long supported mercy ministries before they were disgraced with stories of abuse and trying to “cure gay people” Google any report about mercy and you will see just what sort of bad causes Gloria chooses to support.

  47. Shane

    I love their coffee and they have delightful danish’ and cakes. Gloria jeans have my vote. Keep up the great work GJ

    1. Simon

      how can u promote homophobia young people die? next time u sip your coffee, think of that young person and suicide.

  48. Pingback: Bye bye Bucko

  49. They burnt me

    I do not support Gloria Jeans because of their connection to Hillsong. I know they say there is no connection, but there is via management. This same management that ignored or conveniently “did not know about” the allegations of sexual abuse made against paedophile pastor Frank Houston (their leader).

    Documents tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse show that Frank Houston was later allowed to quietly retire from the church despite executive members of the Assemblies of God being aware of allegations that he sexually abused seven young boys in the 1960s.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/church-failed-to-follow-procedure-for-sex-abuse-allegations-royal-commission-hears-20141009-113hwq.html#ixzz3FczpEuvA

    These bodies perform like modern day versions of Nazi Germany. Holier than thou, while all the time supporting through the back door repressive, racist and sexist organisations.

  50. william

    Wow.what a long thread.so I may as well ad my 2 bobs worth.congratulations Gloria jeans now knowing all the facts you have my full support.keep up the good work and don’t be put of by silly people’s rants.you are answerable only to God not to the godless.

  51. Sharon Ann Rowland

    Please explain why the owner of Gloria Jeans should not make a donation to the ACL? And why your opinion, belief, and view of our world should supercede that of the ACL?

  52. Justin

    This is definitely food for thought.

    I stopped drinking their coffee a decade ago just because it’s so damn terrible. I’m not sure how they stay in business when their primary product is just so bad in comparison to the many other coffee outlets they are in competition with.

    Now i have more reason to never go there again.

  53. Mark

    The ‘Gloria Jean’s’ referred to in this blog is no longer owned the founder.

    Retail Food Group owns Gloria Jeans. A publicly list company on the ASX. They have owned it since late 2014. All the franchises are privately owned.

    Now you can drink their coffee.

  54. Johnny McMahon

    Don’t believe I’ve ever had GJ, now I know I never will. Thanks for the informative story, cheers.

  55. Jim Tsilavis

    Omg this is so old RFG owns this and has nothing to do with the previous owners views. I own 2 Gloria Jeans Stores and support and employ gay people, end of story.

    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      This is indeed an old blog post which has been resurrected due to a reblog. I do not know the people who reblog fed it or why they chose to do so at this time.

      It was accurate at the time it was written.

      I accept that Gloria Jeans is under new ownership. Nevertheless, they bought into a company carrying religious baggage and have, as far as I know, made no public statement distancing themselves from the activities and prejudices of the previous owners.

      Starbucks has publicly supported the LGBTIQ community and U would suggest that, as this blog has had over 10,000 views in the last couple of days, RFG may care to do the same.

      Standing up for equality is not a particularly radical thing to do and would bend a lot of fences for Gloria Jeans’ tarnished brand.

      I’d certainly be happy to blog about any statement RFG cares to make in support of LGBTIQ rights, marriage equality and the importance of church/state or even church/corporate separation.

  56. Joh Stinson

    Holy hell!! I see this thread as nothing more than a Christian/gay and lesbian debate!! It is all pathetic. I’m not a Christian and am not gay, but I do however have plenty of gay and lesbian friends as the same with Christian ones!! But to each their own is what I’ve always been taught. I also happen to know owners of a couple of Gloria Jeans franchises here where I live, and I can certainly say that they are the least racial (on any subject) people you would ever meet!! They simply chose to buy a franchise to set up a living for their families. You all attacking Gloria Jeans as a whole, need to take a long hard look at yourselves and when you can honestly say that you all lead perfect lives, than comment. Notoriety at its finest right here!!

  57. John D

    I am currently, and have been doing so for at least 5 years, attending Hillsong Church, and I am gay.

    I know of at least 10 other LGBTIQ people who also attend the same campus, and that’s just one campus in like 20!

    You may of quoted Ben, who also attends from time to time.

    I love my church, and so do they. The two (being gay and going to Hillsong Church) are not mutually exclusive.

    As for GJ, I don’t drink coffee 🙂


    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      John, the issue discussed here was that the owners of Gloria Jeans made a considerable donation to the Australian Christian Lobby – a homophobic hate group almost entirely devoted to distributing false and misleading anti-LGBTIQ propaganda.

      I would be extremely surprised if Hillsong does not also provide financial support to the homophobes at the ACL, but that is not the issue discussed in this blog post.

      I am sad to hear of your involvement with the Hillsong cult.

      1. Mark

        Actually the issue is ‘the previous owners of Gloria Jeans Coffee’ made a considerable donation to the Australian Christian Lobby.

        Please it is very important that this is emphasised, This blog is being reblogged by others and the information within it are currently misleading and obviously influencing people when reading the previous posts.

        By the way I do not own shares in RFG or own any Gloria Jeans franchises, I do however love to patron Australian owned companies whether publicly or privately run.

      2. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

        There is no misrepresentation here. This post was written years ago and the date is given within the text.

        I am not responsible for people reblogging my old blog posts.

        The current owners could seize this opportunity to make a positive statement about marriage equality to distance themselves from the previous owners.

        When you purchase a company with this kind of baggage, this is the risk you take.

  58. Paul

    The bible is cited so often in this blog. Who wrote the bible? Certainly not God. The bible is a wonderful resource, always conflicting and always as clear as mud.

    Use your intelligence people. Do not rely on reinterpretations of books.

  59. thelinkdotsite

    Boycotting this terrible blog.
    Gloria jeans was bought out years ago and you could’ve updated / deleted this blog, but instead you are just greedy for views/money even if your facts are wrong and slander.

    The fact you also think 30,000 is a large amount goes to show how little you know about big business. If you did your research you may have seen it’s a tiny donation.

    Nonetheless that doesn’t even matter because you are slandering and attacking a company that has had new owners for years. Not to mention franchisees are family owned and suffering because of lies like you, i hope they take legal action against you if you don’t edit this blog.

    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      1. The blog post is clearly dated and was accurate at the time of publication.
      2. I make no money from this blog.
      3. I am a former banking executive. I know about big business. $30,000 is not a small donation.
      4. When I have seen this post re-promoted, I always contact the originator and explain GJs is under new management. Check my Twitter stream at @Chrys_Stevenson.
      5. When the new management makes it clear they do not endorse the previous management’s stance on marriage equality and LGBTIQ rights and do not financially support groups which oppose those causes, I will happily delete this post. That, however, has yet to happen.
      6. I will lose no sleep over you boycotting my blog.


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