A criminal ban on sex between men is to be retained in the Cook Islands and extended to women.
The Cook Islands News reports MPs have done a U-turn on promises to decriminalise homosexuality, under pressure from the churches.
Two years ago, Parliament removed "indecent acts between men" from a draft Crimes Bill.
However, a select committee chair, Tingika Elikana, said the clause would be reinstated.
His select committee has recommended Parliament reinstate a sentence of seven years' prison for gay sex.
Extending the ban to gay women is seen as an unintended consequence of moves to make legislation gender-neutral.