6 Nov 2019

Petition calls for homosexuality to be decriminalised in Cooks

10:15 am on 6 November 2019

An online petition has been launched calling for homosexuality to be decriminalised between consenting adults in the Cook Islands.

Cook Islands Parliament.

Cook Islands Parliament. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The petition is in response to a Parliamentary select committee's decision to recommend a criminal ban on sex between men be retained and extended to women in the Crimes Bill, the Cook Islands news reports.

Two years ago, Parliament removed "indecent acts between men" and sodomy from a draft Crimes Bill, but last week the select committee decided to reinstate the clause after an outcry from sectors of the community.

Petition organiser Sonya Apa Temata said the Cook Islands was one of several Pacific nations which clung to anti-gay law enacted under colonial rule and the influence of conservative Christian missionaries.

The Cook Islands' only LGBTQI community group, Te Tiare Association, is due to hold a meeting today to discuss an official response.

As of Wednesday, the petition had more than 2000 signatures.