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Definition of marriage and related policies should not be determined by courts: Masagos


Mr Masagos also said that “a responsible government should not leave the courts to grapple with controversial social issues”.

The court’s function was not to settle political questions or rule on social norms and values, nor to engage with the political, social, ethical and other dimensions of the issues, he added.

“Litigation is a zero-sum, adversarial process with win-lose outcomes. It is unlike a political process, where the interests of stakeholders can be considered, accommodation can be sought, to reach consensus.”


Mr Masagos said that while some groups in Singapore may wish to “maximise their own positions” on the issue, this could cause resistance, leading to pushback and dividing society further.

“Singapore will not come out well in the end. It is therefore important that certain groups do not push beyond what is acceptable to our society. In most cases, society needs time to adjust to change.”

Mr Masagos, who is also Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, said Singapore was “fortunate that our religious leaders understand the context of our diverse society and their communities trust the Government to treat all faiths completely impartially”.

“We also continue to protect all from scorn and harm. This includes homosexuals who are members of our society, our kith, our kin,” he said.

“Homosexuals have a place in our society, and space to live their lives in Singapore. In our families, we should not exclude our loved ones who are homosexuals.

“In our communities, they like other Singaporeans, have access to education and employment, to healthcare and social services, to protection from violence and harassment.”

On marriage and family, however, most Singaporeans “wish to retain current norms”, said the minister, adding that the Government shared this view.

“As a society, regardless of your views on marriage, family or homosexuality, no one should feel unsafe expressing your views, or fear being cancelled, bullied or discriminated against.

“It is dangerous for our society if we do not learn to respect others who hold differing views from us. This threatens the common space, and Singapore will not be able to progress as a cohesive society.”

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