14 Apr 2005

Fiji prime minister gets backing in his views on homosexuality

10:57 am on 14 April 2005

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has received strong backing for his condemnation of homosexuality.

Mr Qarase has told Radio Legend that the Bible says very clearly that homosexuality is a sin, and that should be the law in Fiji.

The Hindu religious organisation, the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, says Fiji is a conservative country and allowing any legal or constitutional encouragement of gay sex would impose a huge cost on society.

Another Hindu organisation, the Shree Sanatan Dharam Sabha, has backed Mr Qarase's statement that other countries should not interfere in Fiji's internal affairs.

Its president, Surendra Kumar, says the people of Fiji don't believe in legalising gay sex.

The former prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, says he fully agrees with Mr Qarase that homosexuality is a sin; and all future governments should ensure that such practices remain illegal.

The Fiji Labour Party has also rallied behind Mr Qarase.

It spokesman, Lekh Ram Vyashnoi, says Fiji's laws state clearly that homosexual acts are a crime under the Penal Code.

Mr Qarase has insisted that there are no plans to decriminalise sodomy and unnatural offences.