Gay Marriage not likely in Fiji.
The Pacific island paradise of Fiji is no golden isle or beacon of enlightenment for gay and lesbian couples who want to tie the knot. The Assemblies of God Church has released a statement saying it does not condone gay marriages and homosexuality as a whole.
The statement from the church comes after a five-day Anglican Church synod meeting ended in Nadi Thursday. Church general superintendent Reverend Pita Cili told Fiji Times the church respected the right of the Anglican Church to make a decision on the issue. “At the end of the day, someone has to answer to God on every decision he makes in regards to what God says in his word about the issue,” Mr Cili said. “Because the word of God is non-negotiable, we would not dare discuss it or change it but only receive it as it is.”
The gay rights movement, Drodrolagi has urged church leaders to encourage acceptance when dealing with homosexuality and same-sex marriages. “Our church leaders should be promoting love, acceptance and inclusiveness and promote a world free from homophobia and transphobia,” co-ordinator Kris Prasad said.
“Marriage equality may be an important issue for many same-sex couples who seek State recognition of their relationships and to be accorded the same rights and protections that are already available for straight couple,” he said.
“In the context of Fiji, many of us would like to address the stigma, violence, harassment and discrimination that prevent many in the LGBTI community from reaching their full potential and to be on an equal par with others in society.”
Homosexual discrimination and abuse is still widespread in the little sun drenched island despite being the second country in the world to introduce protection against discriminination based on sexual orientation back in 1997. However, in 2009 the constitution was abolished and therefore discrimination people just for their sexuality is legal. In May of this year the Fiji police cancelled and prevented a gay rights march from taking place.
There is growing concern among human rights campaigners over the treatment of both local gay and lesbian people, but also visitors to the islands, where tourism is the biggest industry. There are fears that Fiji will overturn last years revolutionary decriminalisation of consensual homosexuality and make being gay illegal.