Last edited: April 16, 2005

Fiji PM Invokes Bible for Anti-Gay Law, April 15, 2005

Fijiís Prime Minister has told international gay and human rights groups to keep their noses out of the countryís affairs, invoking the Bible as justification for the countryís laws prohibiting gay sex which last week saw a 55-year-old Australian tourist jailed.

PM Laisenia Qarase says the country has no intention of repealing the law, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years jail. He said in a radio interview that the Bible clearly states homosexuality is a sin and Fijiís law reflected that.

Various groups in Australia and New Zealand are calling on their governments to become involved. On Monday Australian gays demonstrated in front of the Fijian consulate in Sydney, joined by Greens senator Kerry Nettle.

In New Zealand, OUT! Magazine editor Warren Chapman-Taylor has written to MPs expressing concern, and is asking for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to issue an official travel warning for gay and lesbian New Zealanders travelling to Fiji, as the United Kingdom has done already. No response has yet been received.  

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