Salvation Army Australia releases new position statement on human sexuality

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Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
June 18, 2012, 23:21

The Salvation Army Position On Human Sexuality

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.


1. Statement on homosexuality

A Salvation Army statement on homosexuality that dates back to the 1990s has been the subject of public debate this week.

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

Link to Position Statement:

WELL DONE SALVOS!! A big leap forward for the inclusion of LGBTI people in churches. 🙂

Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
June 18, 2012, 23:37

Sure there still isn't clear agreement on marriage equality within the Salvos, but this position statement is an important step in letting same-sex attracted people know that they are welcome in the church. As a Christian, I will always applaud churches and Christian charities for making steps towards equality, no matter how big or small.

I would jump up and down for days in excitement if Hillsong did anything similar to this. C'mon Brian!

Joined in 2012
June 19, 2012, 02:55

Ben, did you see this? "Salvos back away from anti-gay comments"

Church spokesman Major Bruce Harmer says its Australian arm believes the statement needs to be changed.

He has denied the Salvation Army is homophobic and has appealed to the gay community not make judgements on the declaration.

"If you had a bad taxi driver, you wouldn't group all taxi drivers the same as well," he said.

"At the moment the international statement is our statement, but we are working behind the scenes."

Chapter Leader
Joined in 2008
June 20, 2012, 13:41

Like most Christian denominations, the Salvos have a range of theological views across their membership.

I know that their welfare delivery is completely non-discriminatory. Regardless of the official view from the top, I also know that there are individual Salvo churches (they call them 'corps') who are are welcoming, and there are many individual members and officers (pastors) who are accepting and affirming. The Catholics are the same – many individual Catholics, and many Catholic priests, do not agree with the pronoucements issued by the Pope and some of their bishops.

I have discovered that not all Catholic and Anglican churches in Sydney read out the anti-gay-marriage letter sent by their respective Archbishops last Sunday … despite being asked to do so. My (Baptist) pastor read only part of the equivalent Baptist President's letter and seemed to do so reluctantlyand only because he had been "asked to read it".

Change happens slowly. We must be patient and tolerant. Everyone is on a learning curve. Some travel more cautiously than others.

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