ST Forum: Rev Yap's Response

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I refer to the report "Homosexuality: Govt not moral police but it's mindful of people's concerns." (ST, April 23). This pragmatic understanding of homosexuality of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is certainly appreciated.

MM Lee has accepted the opinion of the doctors he consulted that due to "the nature of the genetic random transmission of genes" homosexuals are born that way. According to his view homosexuality is a "genetic variation." This is in line with the vast majority of doctors, psychologists, psychiatarists, and social workers who agree that homosexuality is a sexual orientation which makes therapeutic change impossible. They have declared this officially in their professional associations at different times since 1973! Therefore people should no longer regard homosexuality as an abnormality, sickness, disorder or unnatural.

Recognizing the concerns of conservative citizens and their inhibitions towards homosexuality the government has adopted a pragmatic approach and "would not be 'proactive' in enforcing this (existing) law against consensual homosexual acts that take place in private." Therefore the homosexual act should not be seen by the people as a criminal offence except only when done in public.

On the question of morality, an act by homosexual or hetersosexual is immoral when it is harmful, hurtful, destructive and exploitative. The question of morality does not come into play when the sexual act is consensual, in a mutually committed relationship and in privacy.

Time and circumstances change and the teaching of the religious communities need to change their conservative view of homosexuality as well in order to serve as a credible moral force in the age of globalization.

Rev Dr Yap Kim Hao