A media relations director for the Salvation Army Major Andrew Craibe, who runs one of the organization's Australian branches, told Australian gay journalists Serena Ryan and Pete Dillon during an interview on their Salt and Pepper radio show that gays deserve death. According to Craibe, it’s a part of the Salvation Army’s belief system.
Since the interview, the Salvation Army has distanced itself from Craibe’s comments. Spokesman Major Bruce Harmer said the Salvation Army does “not believe, and would never endorse, a view that homosexual activity should result in any form of physical punishment.”
The Salvation Army doctrine Craibe was referring to in the interview is “Salvation story: Salvationist Handbook of Doctrine,” which states that by not practicing God’s degree for heterosexuality, “those who practice such things deserve to die.”
Harmer, however, explained that the “death” passage refers to spiritual and not physical death.
The Salvation Army, which is one of the largest charities in the U.S., is known for its anti-gay stance. The New York Times published a story last year about how the charity refused to help a homeless gay couple unless they broke up.
They have also tried to get an anti-LGBT resolution passed that would allow them to ignore anti-discrimination laws.
According to The New York Times, the organization’s “Position Statement” on homosexuality, which has since been taken down off their website, read, “The Salvation Army does not consider same-sex orientation blameworthy in itself. Homosexual conduct, like heterosexual conduct, requires individual responsibility and must be guided by the light of scriptural teaching. Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life.”