17 Oct 2005

Fiji's Human Rights Commission receives complaint over planned anti-gay marches

4:21 pm on 17 October 2005

Fiji's Human Rights Commission has received an official complaint about the planned nationwide anti-gay marches.

The Women's Action Group for Change has filed the complaint, saying the marches being planned by the Methodist church will incite further hatred towards homosexuals.

The Methodist church says the marches are supported by various other religious groups and should draw large turnouts.

Carlos Perera, the co-ordinator of the Sexual Minorities project for the Women's Action Group, says they fear the marches will incite more hatred to a minority group currently experiencing an increase in persecution towards them from the community.

He says marches are about freedom of expression, but these marches would go beyond the limit given Fiji's Methodist Church and Muslim League have both previously made public calls for homosexuals to be stoned to death.

"Yes, we're trying to get them to stop the march and trying to get them to stop issuing statements that will incite fear into the gay community, and just stop the hate speeches. Right now there's a lot of young gay men coming out and that would hinder that would hinder that process."

Carlos Perera of the Women's Action Group for Change.