The Salvation Army has apologised to members of gay, lesbian and bisexual communities for the hardline official position the church took in opposing to the 1986 homosexual law reform campaign.
It made its apology in a joint release distributed by Rainbow Wellington and the Salvation Army.
Both organisations say they want a better cooperative future.
Tony Simpson, chair of the Wellington-based Rainbow Wellington and Campbell Roberts, head of the Army's Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit, were both involved in drafting the position statements of their respective groups.
The Army said it regretted and apologised for any hurt which remained from those turbulent times 25 years ago.
"Our present hope is to rebuild bridges of understanding and dialogue...we may not agree in the future on all issues, but we can respect and care for one another despite this.
"Since the events of law reform in 1986 the Army has reflected deeply on its actions and the hurtful way some members publicly expressed their view on this legislative change," the Army statement said.
Mr Simpson said both groups had been considering future perspectives on their relationship in the past year.
He said there had also been much change in the past 25 years.
"So we made contact with the Army and asked them for their views - not, I must say, without considerable discussion and some misgivings," Mr Simpson said.
"We were therefore greatly encouraged to receive a highly positive response which initiated further discussions. As a result both bodies have been able to arrive at statements which they can endorse.
"The time has come to look forward rather than backwards and to move on," the Rainbow Wellington statement said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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