Fiji PM Says Emphatic "No" To Same Sex Marriage

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Bainimarama: ‘Fiji does not need that rubbish’

By Maika Bolatiki

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, Jan. 6, 2016) – Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says there will be "no same sex marriage in Fiji".

He made this emphatic statement after watching a FBC TV programme, ‘Have Your Say’.

The programme, which made references to the Constitution, equality and same sex marriage, featured Shamima Ali, the Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator.

FBC News director Indra Singh, said one of last year’s highlights was a recording they made on Shamima Ali.

Mr Bainimarama said yesterday: "Tell Shamima Ali, there will be no same sex marriage in Fiji, a topic pushed by NGOs such as hers under the issue of human rights."

He added: "Not in her lifetime and not in ours. They should not beconfused with the wording of the Constitution about the equality and love for one another."

The Constitution, he stressed, did not refer to equality as the opportunity for same sex marriage or love for all as love by Sakaraia for Ropate ending at the altar.

"Not in her lifetime!"

For a woman who wants to get married to another woman he said: "Go and have it done in Iceland and stay and live there.

"Fiji does not need that rubbish."

Ms Ali said yesterday she last spoke to FBC TV last November and she did not say anything on same sex marriage.

[PIR editor’s note: On Jan. 6, 2016 RNZI reported that ‘A human rights advocate in Fiji says the prime minister's comments about same-sex marriage are extremely homophobic and disheartening. ... Shamima Ali says it was a totally regressive statement towards an LGBT community that struggles with discrimination.’]

Many religious organisations in Fiji support Mr Bainimarama’s position, vehemently opposing same-sex marriage.

In an earlier interview with the Fiji Sun, the former general-secretary of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma, now its president, Reverend Tevita Nawadra said: "Marriage ceremony is for a man and a woman."

Many communities in Fiji frown upon the idea of a same-sex union although there is a growing tolerance towards gays.

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