18 June 2012
As are many Christian churches, The Salvation Army (TSA) continues to have a healthy and vigorous internal dialogue about the way it deals internally with issues of sexuality. There are a range of diverse views in an organisation as large and broad as TSA, and these views are being heard and considered.
A Salvation Army statement on homosexuality that dates back to the 1990s has been the subject of public debate this week (17 - 24 June 2012).
The Salvation Army today clarified that the statement was not posted as part of the current debate on gay marriage, and has been on The Salvation Army website for many years.
1. Provision of social services by TSA
The Salvation Army does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in the delivery of its services. All Salvation Army social service programs embrace and work with people ONLY on the basis of need. Salvation Army social service centres around the nation have had multitudes of gay people stay and find acceptance, support and love in TSA's care.
2. Employment and volunteering with TSA
TSA does not consider sexuality a factor in deciding who we employ, or in the engagement of volunteers. Some of our best employees and volunteers are people who are openly gay.
3. Church involvement with TSA
In terms of Salvation Army church life, homosexual people are welcome to worship with, and join in the fellowship of, Salvation Army churches.
TSA is founded on strong Christian principals which drive and underpin its compassion and desire to work with anyone, without giving up, for as long as it takes.
Response to the comments
TSA respectfully suggests that, under the standards some have suggested people follow in determining which organisations to support, most of Australia's faith-based organisations would effectively be excluded from eligibility, despite their enormous range of vital and effective programs to all members of the Australian community.
TSA would suggest a more appropriate measure for people to use is to look at how an organisation treats and deals with members of the community who are marginalised, vulnerable, experiencing disadvantage or oppression. On that measure, TSA is one of the most compassionate and non-discriminatory in the way it works with people who are marginalised in our community, including many people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.