Feb 06, 2014

    HPB's sexuality FAQs undermine family

    THE FAQs On Sexuality page on the Health Promotion Board (HPB) website is shocking and deeply upsetting.

    The tone of the entire article gives the impression that HPB condones same-sex relationships and promotes homosexual practice as something normal.

    The author appears to have taken sides on a highly contentious and politicised subject. Here, I address five issues covered in the FAQs.

    ISSUE 1

    The FAQs draw a false equation between heterosexual and homosexual relationships in a manner that smacks of liberationist propaganda intended to mainstream homosexuality.

    We disagree that "a same-sex relationship is not too different from a heterosexual relationship". There is a vast and fundamental difference between heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

    A heterosexual relationship is natural and normal, with the capacity to procreate. This is based on the fact that male and female bodies are sexually complementary.

    In contrast, such sexual complementarity does not exist between two people of the same sex. A homosexual relationship is, therefore, unnatural, abnormal, and procreation is impossible.

    Such a false equation is very worrisome on several counts: 

    It blatantly promotes and encourages an alternative lifestyle that violates the moral standard set out by the law of the land, which regards heterosexual relationships as the norm. This is reflected in the distinction between heterosexual and homosexual relationships under laws such as Section 377A of the Penal Code.

    It desensitises Singapore's young on issues of decency and morality. 

    It goes against the majority view that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong and undesirable for our nation.

    It contradicts declared government policy.

    It undermines our pro-family Government's efforts to encourage heterosexual marriage to boost our national birth rate, perpetuate the family unit (the basic building block of society), bring up the next generation and ensure the continuity of this nation.

    ISSUE 2

    HPB adopted a biased and selective approach by naming only a pro-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) group to help those who are looking for support.

    We are disappointed that HPB's original article referenced only one option for help, namely Oogachaga. Its hotline is run by specially trained LGBTs or LGBT-affirming counsellors.

    To exclude other available avenues of care, such as Liberty League and Focus on the Family, is to discriminate in favour of LGBT-affirming organisations. This is both unjust and harmful.

    ISSUE 3

    The FAQs use politically charged language and one-sided terms like "homophobia", which are misleading and highly offensive to us.

    We disagree with the claim that moral objection to homosexual behaviour is based on "irrational fear, disgust, or hatred" of homosexuals or bisexuals because they "do not conform to traditional sexual roles and stereotypes". Far from it. Moral objection is based on the intrinsic physiological nature of the male and female bodies. 

    We do not despise homosexuals or hold them in contempt. We esteem them as fellow human beings of intrinsic worth. Each one is precious, deserving respect and love, just like anyone else.

    ISSUE 4

    The FAQs fail to give an accurate picture and clear warnings of the health risks posed by alternative sex.

    According to medical research and mental-health studies, the threat is real and severe. Homosexuals have a shorter lifespan, more sexually transmitted infections and more health problems than the general population.

    ISSUE 5

    The FAQs make an unproven assertion that homosexuals can have long-lasting relationships and, in this way, the FAQs clearly promote a "mainstreaming homosexuality as normal" bias.

    We disagree because this claim is only theoretical. Some research findings show a different trend. Homosexuals register a higher incidence of short-lived relationships and sexual violence.

    In closing, this is a national concern. It is about the kind of Singapore we want in 20, 30, 50 years from now. Our actions today will affect the future for generations to come.

    The right actions will help the family unit to thrive and the nation to flourish. Misguided actions will yield bad outcomes and destructive repercussions. As the family unit goes, so goes society, so goes the nation.

    This year is the International Year of the Family, and next year is our nation's 50th birthday. I love this nation. This little red dot we call home is precious. We must not fail her on our watch.

    May the Health Ministry and HPB lead the way, and do the right thing to build a healthier Singapore. I look forward to new FAQs that reflect the views of Singapore's conservative majority, reinforce our Government's position and serve our national interests.


    The writer is chairman of LoveSingapore, a network of churches.