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FAQ an educational tool that should remain in its original form

MARUAH, as a human rights group, is disturbed that the Health Promotion Board (HPB) amended its FAQ on sexuality because of pressure from faith-based groups and others who oppose discussions on sexual orientation.

Braema Mathi, President, MARUAH Singapore

MARUAH, as a human rights group, is disturbed that the Health Promotion Board (HPB) amended its FAQ on sexuality because of pressure from faith-based groups and others who oppose discussions on sexual orientation.

The FAQ is not an affirmation of anyone’s sexuality but a discussion of facts about sexuality and an educational tool. Thus, it must address all forms of questions on sexual expression and offer links to reliable sites for further information.

It is a laudable effort; nevertheless, MARUAH is disappointed that the HPB removed some of the latter. This dilutes an FAQ’s function as a standalone source of information.

MARUAH’s focus is to ensure that rights to one’s sexual orientation are not compromised at the state level in a secular country governed by its Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The norms we should follow include the rights to information and to not be discriminated against.

Those whose beliefs differ on the issue of sexual orientation must work harder in their domains — religious houses, homes and faith-based schools — to take this deliberation and discourse further with their own communities, based on the value-based morality they endorse.

Private beliefs should not dominate to become the norm for all. We hope that the HPB will claim its role as one that is in an unassailable position to provide unprejudiced, indispensable information to educate the public objectively and equally.

Its FAQ, crafted with scientific verification, should remain as an educational tool. The original should also be reinstated.

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