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NZ Sallies reject "gays should die" view

Tue 26 Jun 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Major Campbell Roberts The head of New Zealand’s Salvation Army says the idea of any form of physical punishment being meted out to gay people is “abhorrent”. The Australian Salvation Army has apologised after a senior official repeatedly told glbt radio station Joy FM he believes sexually active gay people should be put to death. The Salvation Army in Australia says it’s not a view it holds or endorses and is a misunderstanding of scripture. “It’s not a view that is held by the Salvation Army at all,” adds Major Campbell Roberts, director of the New Zealand Salvation Army's social policy parliamentary unit. “It’s obviously held by this individual. It’s something that we wouldn’t endorse. A view that homosexual activity should result in any form of physical punishment would be abhorrent to us. Roberts says while the leadership in Australia has made a post apology, obviously the damage has already been done. “It certainly doesn’t at all represent where we’re at in New Zealand,” he says. Roberts says building bridges with the gay community is important to the Salvation Army, due to the behaviour of some of its members during the Homosexual Law Reform battle in the 1980s. “We did need to apologise for that and we’ve done that,” he says. “What we really want to do at the moment is continue dialogue. Certainly some of our people may be in a different position to the gay community, that in no way should there be any disrespect for or non-acceptance, or lack of a compassion and love that we would want to show to every human being. “So it’s most distressing to get these sort of incidents happening.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 26th June 2012 - 10:38am

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