An account of a Skegness homosexual man was forced to discontinue his involvement with the Salvation Army. The news story includes a picture of the 28 year old homosexual man, John Garrad.
Homophobia is behind disciplinary action resulting in a Skegness Salvation Army soldier being struck off the roll, claims the man in question.
Mr John Garrad. 28, was a soldier with the Army for more than 13 years. but in September of last year his name was removed from the Soldiers Roll for a “lifestyle incompatible with Salvation Army soldiership.” Mr Garrad who freely admits to being gay but celibate, believes he has been discriminated against solely because of his sexual persuasion.
Correspondence from Salvation Army officers to Mr Garrad bears the motto “with heart to God and hand to man.” But the hand extended to Mr Garrad appears to be holding a knife, and he has been fighting to clear his name for over a year.
In a letter to Mr Garrad, dated February 9 of this year, Lt Col Alex Morrice, Divisional Commander at Nottingham said: “The commissioner outlines the following for your consideration and acceptance:
1/ To give a written declaration (as you have already given a verbal one) that you are not a practicing homosexual.
2/ Cease to share a flat with anyone of known homosexual tendencies, thus avoiding the appearance of duplicity.
3/ Undertake to see that there is nothing in your behaviour which could bring your first declaration into question and the Army into disrepute.
4/ The prove over a period of six months/a year that your re-acceptance merits serious consideration.
Mr Garrad said firmly: “I don’t live with a known homosexual”.Innuendo
There is considerable Army support for Mr Garrad. Former soldier, Mrs Caroline Bloor, asked for her own name to be removed from the roll in support of Mr Garrad, following innuendo about his private life.
Others who had sided with Mr Garrad had also been struck off in their absence, she said.
Officers are tight-lipped. Lt Col Morrice said “We refute the allegations and can’t help wondering why he is going to the local press.”
Major John Atcliffe, head of public relations at Divisional Headquarters in Nottingham, refused even to define “lifestyle incompatible with Salvation Army soldiership.” saying: “It is an internal matter and a church matter.”
The local Salvation Army officer, Capt Eric Pearce, was said on Wednesday by his own son to be away on two weeks holiday.
John Garrad is pictured below: