29 Aug 2005

Outcry in Fiji over court ruling on homosexual acts

10:12 am on 29 August 2005

There's been an outcry in Fiji against a High Court ruling which allows consensual sex between people of the same sex in private.

The ruling was given by Justice Gerard Winter who quashed a conviction and sentence against an Australian tourist, Thomas McCosker, and a local who were imprisoned in April for homosexual acts.

Justice Winter ruled that several sections of Fiji's Penal Code were not consistent with provisions of the constitution and therefore invalid.

But the president of the Fiji Council of Churches, Father Apimeleki Qio, has told the Fiji Times the council is totally against the ruling.

Father Qio says homosexual relations are against the scriptures and also against cultural and traditional values.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, has told Radio Legend that any man-made legislation that is inconsistent with God's law should be amended.

The chief executive of the justice ministry, Sakiusa Rabuka, says the matter should be tested in the highest court in the country, the Supreme Court, in light of the concerns being raised by all the churches including non-Christian ones.