Last edited: April 16, 2005

Gays Lobby Against Ruling

Fiji 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 alone.

“We assert that judiciary, government and all of us must separate multiple issues within specific cases, such as this one,” Ms Nabulivou said.

“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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