Fiji Gay Rights Group Demands Apology From PM

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

Bainimarama condemned for ‘derogatory, homophobic statements’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 8, 2016) – Fiji's gay community is calling on the prime minister Frank Bainimarama to apologise for what it says are derogatory and homophobic statements.

In response to a suggestion that Fiji consider allowing same-sex marriage, the prime minister said if a woman wants to marry another woman they should go and have it done in Iceland and live there, adding that Fiji does not need that rubbish.

A joint release from Fiji's Be the Change and Oceania Pride movements has condemned the prime minister's statements, saying they will only fuel an already prevalent culture of homophobia and undo years of progress made in getting Fijians to embrace diversity.

Oceania Pride founder Jasmine Kaur says the LGBTIQ community wants Mr Bainimarama to honour the constitution and support equality for all people.

"He actually needs to apologise to the LGBTIQ community and reassure not just the community but the nation that hatred doesn't lead anywhere and that we need to create a culture of acceptance not tolerance and that is what I would like him to teach the nation."

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