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Ellie Goulding threatens to quit Thanksgiving NFL game; Salvation Army says she's a go

Charles Trepany, USA TODAY

Despite Ellie Goulding's ultimatum to the Salvation Army, the Christian charity says she'll still perform at the halftime show at the Dallas Cowboys game this Thanksgiving.

The "Love Me Like You Do" songstress had threatened to drop out unless the charity made "a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community."

The football game annually kicks off the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign, which raises money to feed and shelter the homeless year-round. Salvation Army representative Kurt Watkins told USA TODAY the singer confirmed Wednesday she'll still perform.

USA TODAY has reached out to Goulding's reps for comment.

The fracas began with an Instagram post Goulding shared Tuesday showing the singer in a red apron volunteering with the charity.  

"Ok so maybe hairnet not my strongest look but thank you @salvationarmyus for having us in New York," the U.K. native wrote, going on to share the virtues of the organization. "I sat and spoke to several people who had come in from the bitter cold for some food (they serve to over 150 per day here), warmth and perhaps a chat with one of the volunteers."

Though many applauded Goulding for her act of service, others left comments criticizing the singer for associating with a religious organization that has been characterized by some as anti-LGBTQ.

"so sad to see Ellie supporting them," user @angelsporch wrote in a comment, captured by NBC 5 Wednesday. "they're extremely homo/transphobic, literally to the point of letting queer homeless ppl die. wish she had done some research beforehand or something."

Goulding replied to the fan's criticism, saying that "upon researching this, I have reached out to The Salvation Army and said that I would have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community." 

"I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do," she continued. "Thank you for drawing my attention to this x"

The Salvation Army quickly moved to address Goulding's concerns, calling them "misconceptions."

"We’d like to thank Ellie Goulding and her fans for shedding light on misconceptions and encouraging others to learn the truth about The Salvation Army’s mission to serve all, without discrimination," Salvation Army national commander David Hudson said in a statement to USA TODAY. "We applaud her for taking the time to learn about the services we provide to the LGBTQ community."

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"Regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, we’re committed to serving anyone in need," he continued. "Every day, we provide services such as shelter for the transgender community and resources for homeless youth – 40 percent of whom identify as gay or transgender."

Hudson added that Goulding's performance "will kick off a season of giving that helps support these and many other programs and services throughout the country."

According to a 2011 report from the New York Times, the Salvation Army's "position statement" on its website included language saying that "Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life.”

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That language no longer appears on their website. Today, the Salvation Army has a page on its website highlighting its commitment to the LGBTQ community.

"We're motivated by the love of God to meet human needs in His name without discrimination," a current statement reads. "We embrace people regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ellie Goulding will still perform at NFL show, Salvation Army rep says