Gays Lobby Against Ruling
Times, April 9, 2005
THE Lesbian and Gay community in
Australia will lobby its government to decry Fiji’s anti-gay laws.
This follows the sentencing of an Australian man and a
Fijian man in Nadi last week for having homosexual sex.
Retired Australian university lecturer Thomas McCoskar,
55, and Dhirendra Nandan, 23, pleaded guilty to committing an unnatural
offence and indecent behaviour after admitting to engaging in sex and taking
nude photographs of themselves between March 24 and April 3.
International media reports said the Lesbian and Gay
Community in Australia was appalled that Fiji’s justice system discriminated
against gay men for having sex.
Advocates for the change for community are also
questioning the legality of the sentence.
Women’s Action for Change believes the two men were
rightly charged and penalised for trading pornography but should have not been
charged for having sex. WAC co-ordinator Noe-lene Nabulivou said appropriate
legislation should have been used for both charges rather than the penal code
“We assert that judiciary, government and all of us
must separate multiple issues within specific cases, such as this one,” Ms
“Judiciary must surely not use one provision of the law
for another purpose.
“If, in this current case there was trade in
pornography, then as an organisation and individuals we absolutely believe
that they should be charged under appropriate legislation dealing with
trafficking of pornography or some other such provision.”
Recently, in an interview with Radio Australia the Chief
Executive Officer Justice, Sakiusa Rabuka, clearly stated that Section 17 of
the Penal Code was archaic and totally at to opposition with international
standards of human rights, and also in opposition to the Fiji Constitution.
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