Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has been accused of cherry-picking human rights in his latest remarks against same-sex marriage.
Mr Bainimarama this week reiterated there would be no same-sex marriage in Fiji as long as his party remained in power.
An LGBTQI leader, Isikeli Vulavou, said the prime minister's latest outburst was in response to unreliable and unsubstantiated social media posts.
Mr Vulavou said Mr Bainimarama's comments had caused more harm than good to an already marginalised community.
He said the prime minister should have verified the sources of the reports on social media before using the churches to threaten marriage equality in Fiji.
"It's quite sad that the head of government is making reference to an article that was published on a page that was not a credible media source in Fiji. We found very harmful, divisive and quite irresponsible of a leader," Mr Vulavou said.
This is not the first time Mr Bainimarama has caused international outrage for homophobic remarks.
In 2016, he suggested same-sex couples should move to Iceland where it's legal - labelling marriage equality "rubbish".
Mr Vulavou said the prime minister had said that all Fijians are equal no matter who they are or where they come from - yet he says otherwise to the LGBTQI community.
"He doesn't realise that he can put further harm and can perpetuate to targeted violence against the LGBTQI people in various platforms and levels including bullying, online trolling and taunting."
Mr Vulavou said the government should instead focus on holding talanoa sessions with the LGBTQI community to learn about their real priorities.
Mr Bainimarama had said that it must be made clear to everyone that Fiji is a God-fearing nation and that same-sex marriage would never happen in the country.
The president of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Reverend Doctor Epeneri Vakadewavosa, agreed with the prime minister saying they would not accept same-sex marriage because it was against the church's theology.
"Well before the prime minister came in - long time ago - we have been saying the same thing. Same-sex marriage is wrong according to the Christian teaching. The Christian teaching does not condone that - same sex marriage," he said.
Dr Vakadewavosa said the church was founded on the concept of "a husband and a wife - not husband and husband or wife and wife".
The director of the country's Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj, said in a statement the international law did not necessarily recognise same-sex marriage as a right.
"The inclusion of sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity under section 26(3) of the Fiji Constitution is an important legal safeguard even if Fiji decides not to legalise same-sex marriage," he said.
"Furthermore, there is no clarity on whether the term "expression" under 26(3) includes marriage and therefore there is a need to develop jurisprudence in this area."
Mr Raj said Fiji needed to have calm and rational debate on this sensitive subject and called on Fijians not to mislead and politicise what international human rights law had said on the issue.
But the Fiji Coalition on Human Rights' chair, Nalini Singh, said the prime minister's remarks went against the basis of Fiji's laws - adding that the Constitution prohibited discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
Ms Singh said Mr Bainimarama's remarks contradicted his recent commitment to the United Nations on championing human rights.
"Fiji taking up a seat in the (UN) human rights council - and now as the vice chair of the council - to promote, respect and adheres to human rights for all people. In this case, we cannot have the cherry-picking of rights as we see it," she said.
Ms Singh said in Fiji, same-sex couples and parents are not recognised and these families should not be ignored by the government and society.