Homosexuality to Remain Illegal: Tavai
Fiji Times, October 31, 1998
By Irene Manueli
The Committee on Consequental legislation of Parliament has decided to amend the Bill
of Rights to explicitly read that homosexual relationships and same sex marriages remain
This was confirmed by Attorney-General Ratu Etuate Tavai yesterday. He said the
proposed amendment to the Bill was being drafted by the Parliamentary Counsel.
The draft is to be submitted to the committee on Wednesday, which will make the
necessary changes before presenting it to Cabinet.
Although Ratu Etuate refused to say whether the clause "sexual orientation"
in the Bill of Rights would be removed, he said the amendments were "to remove any
doubts and fears about same sex marriages and unnatural offences being allowed."
The "sexual orientation" clause, in section 38 (2) of the Bill of Rights in
the Constitution, disallows discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The implications of the clause were brought to light by churches who fervently
protested against its inclusion in the Bill of Rights.
Ratu Etuate, who is chairman of the committee, was directed by the Prime Minister
Sitiveni Rabuka to look into the matter after receiving submissions from the Methodist
Church of Fiji and the Fiji Council of Churches.
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