Happy Pride Month! Salvation Army Official Says Gay People Deserve to Die

It's not exactly news that the Salvation Army is no LGBTQ ally. Gay rights groups have long targeted the international charity for its hateful stance on homosexuality and its efforts to lobby for anti-gay measures. Even so, recent statements made by a Salvation Army media relations staffer in Australia are pretty shocking. Major Andrew Craibe had the following exchange with LGBTQ journalist Serena Ryan, who hosts the Australian radio show Salt and Pepper with Pete Dillon:

Ryan: According to the Salvation Army, [gay people] deserve death. How do you respond to that, as part of your doctrine?

Craibe:  Well, that’s a part of our belief system.

Ryan: So we should die.

Craibe: You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief.

The Salvation Army has apologized "to all members of the GLBT community and to all our clients, employees, volunteers and those who are part of our faith communities for the offence caused by this miscommunication,” adding that the group wishes to build "a more healthy relationship with the GLBT community.” But it's clear that the group's official stance on homosexuality -- that it is a sin forbidden by God -- remains. How does one build a "healthy relationship" with a group of people who you think are dirty sinners -- or worse, should die?

What's more, the damage in the media is done. Unlike its past, quieter anti-gay efforts, the Salvation Army has now accidentally made a big media splash proclaiming its hateful attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. With same-sex marriage and other gay rights gaining mainstream acceptance among Americans, the Salvation Army's views don't sit well, especially since it's a charity whose mission is to help the less fortunate.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at June 27, 2012, 7:58am

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