Buddhist groups in Malaysia held public talk about homosexuality

Citing the recent headline making news of a lesbian couple in Johor, Malaysia marrying with the blessings of their families in a traditional Chinese marriage ceremony and the legalisation of same-sex marriage in other countries, the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) and Buddhist Research Society of Malaysia (BRSM) held a seminar titled “Homosexuality: The Controversy in the Midst of Morality and Social Value” on Aug 19 in Kuala Lumpur.

Established in 1970, the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) coordinates 270 member organisations through 13 State Liaison Committees across Malaysia.

An announcement posted on the YBAM website reads: “While human reproduction through opposite-sex marriage is deemed to be the ordinary social progression, we see many people remain to be single or advocate the same-sex partnership by keeping their marriage high profile. Since 2001, some countries or its states have recognised same-sex marriage, for example New York of USA, by officially passing a bill in the parliament.

“How Malaysian Buddhist community perceives the same-sex marriage? Buddhism stresses right conduct and the detachment of all kind of inappropriate desires. Accordingly, the partnership of the same-sex is merely the implication of the origin dependency or something that can change or be rectified?

“The panels of the seminar comprise of professionals from various fields, such as Ven. Miao Jan (Coordinator of Persatuan Meditasi Prajna KL and Selangor), Datuk Ang Choo Hong (President of Buddhist Research Society of Malaysia), Mr.Yap Hock Heng (Registered & Licensed Counsellor). The panels will discuss the issue from the perspectives of Buddhism, sociology and psychology, in order to dissect the issue from different facets.”

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