Salvos questioned over stance on homosexuality
The Salvation Army (TSA) has come under fire after singer songwriter Darren Hayes posted the TSA’s position statements on homosexuality and marriage on Twitter.
TSA has also made a submission to the same-sex marriage inquiry expressing their opposition to the move and on their website state no “practising homosexuals” can receive full membership within TSA.
"Important for gay people to know the true position of the Salvation Army when considering who to donate to. Sad,” he tweeted.
Hayes later clarified that he was not calling for a boycott of the charity.
“Although I, like many, think salvation army comments on sexuality are harmful to equality I did not call for a 'boycott'. Not true,” Hayes later tweeted.
TSA has answered back by stating most faith-based charity services would be excluded from donations if they were boycotted for their stance on homosexuality.
"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," TSA spokesperson Major Bruce Harmer said.
"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 who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender."
Despite saying they do not discriminate TSA’s position statement on homosexuality states that “practising homosexuals” are welcome to join worship but are ineligible for soldiership.
“Homosexual practice however, is, in the light of Scripture, clearly unacceptable. Such activity is chosen behaviour and is thus a matter of the will,” they position statement says.
“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.
“It is The Salvation Army's belief that, whilst recognising the possibility of such orientation, (the origins of which are uncertain), the Bible expressly opposes homosexual practice, seeing such activity as rebellion against God's plan for the created order.”
In the submission to the same-sex marriage inquiry the Australian Southern Territory branch of the TSA Territorial Commander Raymond A. Finger said the Marriage Act should remain unchanged.
“Our view, while founded in our Biblical theology, is reinforced every day through our engagement with thousands of individuals and families throughout Australia. To tear down a foundational stone of society in this manner would only add to the sense of brokenness and dislocation which already exists in Australian society,” he said.
“To suggest that the fundamental destruction of the foundational institution of marriage would in some way be a ‘celebration of diversity’ is to completely misunderstand the nature of the institution of marriage.
“To somehow suggest that the establishment of appropriate mores and laws for the common good is to infringe upon human rights is to see the issue from only one limited perspective and not through the lens of the greater, common good of society.”