6 Dec 2012

PNG politician anticipates significant resistance to decriminalising homosexuality

4:37 pm on 6 December 2012

One of the recommendations out of a report on adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the Pacific has highlighted the need to decriminalise homosexuality.

The New Zealand Parliamentarians' Group on Population and Development launched the report yesterday based on a hearing that brought together a number of Pacific politicians and NGO representatives earlier this year.

Recommendations include encouraging greater youth engagement in decision making, and supporting legislative reform to decriminalise homosexuality and to reduce the stigma faced by young people based on their sexual orientation.

Julie Soso, the first female governor to be elected in Papua New Guinea, believes there will be a lot of resistance to that idea.

"It will be very hard for me for decriminalising homosexuality because in Papua New Guinea it's a Christian nation and this recommendation won't be popular for many Papua New Guineans."

Governor Julie Soso.

The other key recommendation is to ensure legislation and policies protect the rights of women and girls.