Fiji’s prime minister has said he will never allow same-sex marriages because of his Christian beliefs.
During a press conference over the weekend, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama – who seized power in a 2006 coup – said he would never permit same-sex marriages to become law due to the country being ‘God-fearing’.
According to the Fiji Sun, he said as along as FijiFirst, his political party, was in government then: “Fiji will not allow same-sex marriage.”
His comments sparked anger among human and LGBTQ rights activists with the Fiji NGO Coalition of Human Rights (NGOCHR) chairman saying: “The LGBTQI community is already marginalised within our society and these comments made by someone in authority, such as the Prime Minister, are extremely dangerous and only exacerbate the existing discrimination against members of the LGBTQI community.
“Same-sex couples and parents are not recognised.
“Even within the Family Law Act 2005, ‘de facto relationship’ is interpreted as a relationship between a man and a woman who live with each other as spouses on a genuine domestic basis although not legally married to each other.
“Families existing outside of the norm are marginalised, overlooked and stigmatised.
“It’s important not to reinforce these discriminatory structures and regressive ideologies.
“Instead, we should be promoting equality, human rights and non-discrimination for all Fijians.
“A lot remains to be done to promote a culture of equality, respect, inclusiveness and diversity encompassing all Fijians and we stand in solidarity with LGBTQI people in Fiji and around the world.”