Conversion therapy

The Salvation Army aims to be open, hospitable and welcoming to everyone.

In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, The Salvation Army is made up of thousands of people who worship, work, volunteer, donate and serve together every week. This includes many people who are LGBT+.

We believe everyone is created in the image of God and as such is deeply valued. We welcome and serve people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, race, religion or ethnicity. Our employment practices are non-discriminatory and we seek to create welcoming, nurturing work environments.

The Salvation Army stands against homophobia and transphobia and aims to be an inclusive church where LGBT+ people find the welcome and encouragement to develop their relationship with God. Like many other Christian churches, we have much to learn from LGBT+ people and are encouraging conversations and dialogue.

We recognise the harm done to people by conversion therapy. While there are various definitions of conversion therapy in the medical, mental-health and social-work professions, as well as in law, at its most basic, conversion or reparative therapy is an attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender.

It is rooted in the false notion that there is something inherently wrong about certain sexual orientations or gender identities, and that same-sex attraction or a transgender identity needs repair.

The Salvation Army will not act, directly or indirectly, to encourage, recommend a referral, or engage with any forms of conversion therapies or practices aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. We provide pastoral support, in the form of person-centred care, which helps people explore their identity.

We believe in prayer as a means of receiving grace and the unconditional love of God for those who ask. Prayer should not be used for a specific outcome in terms of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Salvation Army confirms its ongoing commitment to respond to complex social, emotional and spiritual needs with sensitivity, without discrimination and with a commitment to deepening our understanding of how to support and serve people.