More weigh in on LGBT issue

More weigh in on LGBT issue
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Catholic Archbishop Goh and members of civil society each issued statements ahead of this Saturday's Pink Dot event (last year's edition pictured), which is organised by the LGBT community.

The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community has come under fresh scrutiny, with the Catholic Church and civil-society groups coming out to address the issue over the weekend.

Catholic Archbishop William Goh has maintained that the family - comprising a father, mother and children - remains the basic building block of society, although the Church recognises that there are individuals who are attracted to people of the same sex.

In an open letter to Catholics that was published on the Catholic News website, Archbishop Goh said that LGBT sexual relationships are not "in accordance with the plan of God".

"This kind of lifestyle should not be promoted by Catholics as it is detrimental to society, is not helpful to integral human development and contrary to Christian values," he added.

The Archbishop's comments come ahead of Saturday's Pink Dot event, which is organised by the LGBT community to promote "the freedom to love", regardless of sexual orientation.

Archbishop Goh acknowledged that the LGBT movement is "gaining momentum", with some Catholics "confused" about the Church's position on family.

Regardless of their sexual orientation, the Church still treats people with sensitivity and respect for their dignity, said Archbishop Goh.

"Discrimination of any kind is thus neither pleasing in the eyes of God, nor those of man."

Members of civil society yesterday issued a statement calling for greater dialogue on the LGBT issue.

The statement - signed by 217 individuals and nine organisations like Maruah, Aware and the Free Community Church - said pitting religious believers against those holding secular beliefs is a "false dichotomy".

It added: "A just and harmonious society can be achieved only when the majority does not infringe upon and discriminate against any minority, including sexual minorities."

Recently, an Islamic religious teacher launched a campaign to get Muslims to wear white on Saturday to protest against homosexuality and the Pink Dot event.

The Wear White campaign has drawn the support of Reverend Lawrence Khong, founder and senior pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church, who said the LoveSingapore network of churches will ask congregants to follow suit and wear white on Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore sent a memo to mosque staff advising them against being confrontational towards or vilifying those who lead the LGBT lifestyle or attend the Pink Dot event.

Meanwhile, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said yesterday: "Do not forget - differences have always existed in our society.

"It's just that some people want to take it upon themselves to champion one cause or the other, and I'm not sure whether that approach will bring any good to Singapore."

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