Clarification regarding interview comments on homosexuality
23 June 2012
There has been ongoing public conversation around The Salvation Army and its position on sexuality since an interview on Melbourne radio with a Salvation Army officer in June 2012.
The Salvation Army sincerely apologises for any offense or hurt caused by this interview, and seeks to provide an accurate understanding of our position.
Please be assured that the perception framed in the interview regarding The Salvation Army’s attitude to homosexuality is in no way consistent with what we believe or practice. Such a position couldn’t be further away from how we seek to engage with the community on a day to day basis, embracing values of justice, mercy, grace and love.
The perception given in the interview, and the community reaction, has deeply grieved many of our own officers and staff, who have contributed and fought for so long to ensure our movement is known for its acceptance and unconditional love for all people.
In all of our social services and churches across Australia, The Salvation Army cares for and welcomes people into our centres, and provides support, without ever considering a person's sexuality.
Our organisation also includes many gay and lesbian colleagues, as well as family members and friends, who have been distressed by what was implied about our position in the interview, and the subsequent debate.
Please be assured that The Salvation Army believes every individual is of infinite value, and each life a gift from God to be cherished, nurtured and preserved.
I want you to understand our clear position:
- All of The Salvation Army's social services operate without discrimination and a multitude of services are provided to people every day without concern or reference to a person's sexuality;
- No person is excluded from worship, fellowship or service in The Salvation Army on the basis of sexuality;
- No person is excluded from employment by The Salvation Army on the basis of sexuality; and
- No person is excluded from volunteering with The Salvation Army on the basis of sexuality.
We continue to do all we can to correct this misrepresentation of our position.
Please forgive us for failing to properly represent the message of unconditional love that has always been, and is, the defining characteristic of our organisation.
James Condon (Commissioner)
The Salvation Army
Australia Eastern Territory (NSW, ACT & Qld)