By Aloysius Chia
Recently, certain religious leaders and politicians have come forward to urge the Health Promotion Board to change its FAQ section on sexuality on its website.
In a petition that is related to this call, it says that the presentation of facts on the website “has an implicit pro-homosexuality stance which…is detrimental to our society.”
Whose society, can it be asked?
How did a government agency, which is supposed to promote the health of all in society, regardless of background, race, religion, income, or sexual orientation, become a politicized entity?
How did a health board, which is supposed to present the facts as it is, guided by health professionals and experts in the field, become a moral sphere for a group of people who, not only do not have a thorough background in the area, dislike the facts because it doesn’t fit their views?
In the website of contention, both the realities of homosexuality are presented. Adolescent development issues, as well as health risks are presented, clearly, without bias to all who read it.
Anyone with a gentle sensibility can see that it expects no prior knowledge for those who want to find out more to gain information about it. It is partly meant to guide parents, who may not necessarily know much about the issue, to find out more about it.
How did this become an agenda? Whose agenda may it be asked in this case?
Basic government services, such as the police, fire service, civil defense, hospitals, environment agency, road maintenance, education, should be provided to all persons, regardless of background.
Nobody expects a fireman to ask about the sexuality of the person before saving that person. Nobody expects doctors to ask about the sexuality of the patient before saving the life of the patient.
These services, which were paid for and voted by taxpayers of all backgrounds, beliefs and religions, are legislated so as to benefit everyone equally.
It comes with the expectation that, regardless of political or moral affiliation, pro-government or not, high or low income, gender or race, that no one should be persecuted in order to benefit from it.
They should never be the political and moral tool of one group of people in order to threaten another group, even if one disagrees with another’s values and creed. They belong to the state, which represents everybody.
It is a shame then that recent events have highlighted only the contrary.
A group of people are trying to seize and turn a neutral government agency into a political tool, and lay claim to not only what are health facts, but to determine what a government agency which has expertise and resources at its disposal, can or cannot do.
They are using pressure tactics in order to influence the Health Promotion Board to write what suits their conception of appropriateness, instead of what the Board has done to balance a delicate human issue.
These sorts of actions, which are intolerant at best and hostile at worst, pay no heed or care to the realities of a multi-racial, multi-religious, diverse country which are at the very core and foundations of this country.