Islamic scholars and religious teachers disappointed by the Health Promotion Board's FAQ on sexuality

SINGAPORE - The Health Promotion Board's (HPB) list of frequently asked questions on sexuality, "can be construed by some as tacit support in normalising same-sex relations", said the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas).

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Here is the full media statement from Pergas:

This response is to record Pergas' disappointment to the Health Promotion Board's (HPB) recent FAQ on sexuality.

Pergas finds that the FAQ is insensitive towards the prevailing view of the Singaporean society. This is as reflected in the recent Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) survey which reported that 78.2 per cent of Singaporeans views are generally conservative towards same-sex relation. As a national health board, Pergas is of the view that HPB should not have presented its FAQ in a manner that can be construed by some as tacit support in normalising same-sex relations.

Pergas views that the message should be directed at the importance of a traditional family unit rather than implicitly showing support towards same-sex behaviour.

Pergas would also like to note that the FAQ is in contrast to the state's pro-family policy. The pro-homosexuality stance reflected in the FAQ undermines the traditional family unit which is essential in building our society.

Pergas would like to assert that the family unit is a fundamental institution of human society. According to the higher objectives of Islamic Law, the family unit serves to bring in new generation and preserve the existence of humankind. For that reason, Islam gives attention in establishing a family only through the legal marriage of a man and woman. Any form of extra-marital or same-sex relations are hence prohibited in Islam.

Notwithstanding the above, Pergas would also like to emphasise that in no way the 'Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender' or LGBT should be ostracised by the society. In line with the teachings of Islam which promote love and mercy, we must avoid rejecting them as individuals and should treat them with love and compassion.

Pergas also advise Muslim to convey the true message of Islam and guide our Muslims LGBT to the right path. Meanwhile, Pergas also encourages those Muslims who are facing sexuality issues, such as tendency towards homosexuality/bisexuality to seek proper religious guidance and psychological guidance from asatizah (religious teachers) and counselors who have knowledge on Islamic perspective in this matter.

Finally, Pergas wishes to state its readiness to be consulted on potentially sensitive issues such as this matter in the future. This is to ensure that the interests of all groups are represented in the consideration of government agencies such as HPB.