Salvation Army takes down 'ex-gay' links, offers apology

Sat. November 30, 2013 10:56 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

The Salvation Army has taken down links from its website to two "ex-gay" ministries.

The links, posted under resources for dealing with "sexual addictions," ferried users to the websites of Harvest USA and Pure Life Ministries, which promote the idea that gay people can – and should – alter their sexuality.

The links were removed after Truth Wins Out, a group opposed to so-called "reparative therapy," objected to their inclusion.

"We thank the Salvation Army for acting swiftly and decisively in addressing our concerns about links to 'ex-gay' organizations," Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen said. "This is a step in the right direction and congruent with their anti-discrimination campaign. We hope this action leads to further progress in gaining the full confidence and trust of the LGBT community."

The charity group explained in a letter to Truth Wins Out that the links were mistakenly published.

"We apologize for our oversight and any confusion this may have caused," wrote Jennifer Byrd, the group's director of communications. "The Salvation Army does not consider homosexual orientation a sin. Please know that we serve anyone who comes to our doors without discrimination."

Comments last year from Army Major George Hood, the group's chief spokesperson at the time, stirred controversy.

In remarks to the Chicago Tribune, Hood said that being gay was "a personal choice that people have the right to make. But from a church viewpoint, we see that going against the will of God."

(Related: Salvation Army's George Hood denies anti-gay allegations.)

The Australian Salvation Army also came under fire last year for condemning homosexuality as "harmful to equality."

(Related: Darren Hayes calls Salvation Army anti-gay marriage comments "harmful.")

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine