3 Apr 2013

Pacific leaders rule out legalising same sex marriage

5:25 am on 3 April 2013

Pacific leaders have ruled out legalising same sex marriage.

In New Zealand, legislation paving the way for same-sex couples to get married is a step closer to becoming law, with a third and final reading now needed to pass.

Over the last week both the Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, and the Fiji Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, have told local media that same-sex marriage will not be considered because it is against religious beliefs.

While the two Prime Ministers are outspoken on the matter, some organisations were wary of making public comment, telling Radio New Zealand International that it is a sensitive issue.

Devon Kula from the Papua New Guinea Youth advocacy group, The Voice, says homosexuality is still taboo to speak about, so discussing same-sex marriage is likely a long way off.

"People are not really openly discussing it in public. I think people talk about it maybe in their homes with their own families but it isn't really something that you bring up in public, so that's my opinion...but for most cultures in PNG, we don't really discuss that issue in PNG I would say. 16"

Devon Kula from the Papua New Guinea Youth advocacy group, The Voice.