Last edited: April 17, 2005

Prime Minister says Fiji’s Sodomy Law Reflects Biblical Truth (Conservative Christian), April 14, 2005

SUVA—In the independent island nation of Fiji, homosexual activity is illegal. The Australian online newsmagazine, The Age, reports that the president of Fiji also considers homosexual acts to be sinful. Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, said that the Bible clearly states homosexuality is sinful and the laws of Fiji reflect that.

Speaking on a local radio station, the Prime Minister reacted to criticism from the Australian Green party after two men were sentenced to two years in prison for violating the country’s sodomy laws. Qarase said that the international critics should not interfere with Fiji’s legal process.

According to the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics (1996), about 52% of the population is Christian and is often called ‘conservative’ by the media. Fiji’s economy rests upon the country’s popularity with tourists. In many of the more permissive South East Asian countries, the phenomenon of ‘sex-tourism’ has become a headache for local law enforcement and along with tourism, prostitution has become a dominant problem.

The two men, Thomas Maxwell McCoskar, 55, and Dhirendra Nadan, 23, are appealing their conviction arguing that the country’s constitution, which prohibits discrimination based on ‘sexual orientation’ overrides the criminal code.

Homosexual acts carry a maximum sentence of 14 years but laws have rarely been enforced in Fiji. Laisenia Qarase won political gains beginning with his appointment as Prime Minster in 2000 in a time of political and economic crisis in Fiji. He won an election at the head of his own newly created party, the nationalist Soqoso Duavata ni Lewenivuana, taking 31 out of 71 parliamentary seats. Since that time, the political climate in Fiji has been stable and the economy has grown.


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