LGBT rights in Fiji

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LGBT rights in Fiji
Fiji
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal[1]
Discrimination protections Yes, discrimination banned by the constitution
Family rights
Recognition of
relationships
No
Adoption No

In 1997, Fiji became the second country in the world to explicitly protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution.[2][3] In 2009, the Constitution was abolished.[4] The new constitution, promulgated in September 2013, bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

In 2005, Australian tourist Thomas McCosker had consensual sex with an adult named Dhirendra Nadan. The men were tried and jailed under the nation's sodomy law, but the conviction was subsequently overturned in August 2005 by the nation's highest court as violating the Constitution.[5][6][7]

In the same time, then Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase defended his nation's criminal laws against homosexuality as being based on the Bible.[8][9] In contrast, then Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi stated that he felt that gay people have their right to privacy protected.[10]

In 2006, the Fijian High Commissioner in New Zealand confirmed that there is now a policy not to arrest gay men for consensual gay sex.[11]

Since 1 February 2010, private, adult, consensual and non-commercial male and female homosexual conduct is legal under the Crimes Decree 2010.[12]

Anti-discrimination protections[edit]

Discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation is banned by the Fiji's law.[13]

In 1997, the Constitution included a provision that specifically prohibited government discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2009, the Fiji Constitution was formally abolished by the President.[14][15]

In April 2013, the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum stated that a new Constitution, which is supposed to be finalized sometime in 2013, would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.[16] The constitution was promulgated in September 2013 and includes provision banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.[17][18]

Family Law[edit]

Fiji family laws do not provide legal recognition of same-sex marriage or civil unions. Since 2002, the law expressly bans same-sex marriage.[19][20]

On 26 March 2013, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama expressed opposition to the idea of same-sex marriage. Answering a question raised by a caller on a radio talk-back programme, he stated that same-sex marriage "will not be allowed because it is against religious beliefs".[21][22] In April 2013, a support group representing LGBT students, Drodrolagi Movement, called for a discussion on the issue.[23]

Summary Conditions[edit]

Public displays of affection in general are considered offensive in Fiji.[24]

Social mores regarding sexual orientation and gender identity tend to be conservative, with no organized campaign in Fiji to address LGBT-rights.[20]

On 1 July 2001, Red Cross leader John Maurice Scott and his partner, Gregory Scrivener, were brutally murdered in Suva, in an apparent homophobic attack with a possible political motive.[25] Scott and Scrivener's story has become the subject of a 2008 New Zealand documentary, An Island Calling.[26]

On 17 May 2012, Fijian police cancelled a gay rights march.[27]

Summary Table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes Since 2010
Equal age of consent Yes Since 2010
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only Yes Since 2013
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (Incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military Emblem-question.svg
Right to change legal gender Emblem-question.svg
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fiji's new decree says gay sex is now legal". Gaynz.com. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  2. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld - Fiji: Treatment of homosexuals by society and government authorities; recourse and protection available to homosexuals who have been subject to ill treatment (2005 - March 2007)". Refworld. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Fiji - GlobalGayz". GlobalGayz. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Fiji's president takes over power". BBC News. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "gmax.co.za". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Fiji: Sodomy Law Convictions Violate Constitution". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "yax-479 Fiji's unnatural sex laws overturned". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Fiji PM says homosexuality a sin". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Prime Minister says Fiji’s Sodomy Law Reflects Biblical Truth". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Cengage Learning". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Fijian High Commission confirms; no more arrests for consensual gay sex in Fiji". Pink News. 11 July 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Same sex law decriminalised". Fijitimes.com. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Employment Relations Promulgation 2007". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  14. ^ Updated (10 April 2009). "Fijian president Ratu Josefa Iloilo abolishes constitution, sacks judiciary and assumes power". Theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Fiji's President Abolishes Constitution, Fires Judiciary". Foxnews.com. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Fiji Times Online : Page Not Found". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  17. ^ CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF FIJI
  18. ^ "President signs long-awaited Fiji constitution into law". ABC News. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  19. ^ "Marriage Act [Cap 50]". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  20. ^ a b "Same-sex marriage in Fiji". Go-fiji.com. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "No same-sex marriage: PM - Fiji Sun". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  22. ^ Fiji prime minister says no to gay marriage
  23. ^ "Group for gay Fiji students calls of discussuion on same-sex marriage". Radio New Zealand. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  24. ^ Lonely Planet. "Health". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "Scrivener was tortured, says family". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  26. ^ "In the name of God". Stuff. Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  27. ^ "Fiji police cancel gay rights march". Radio New Zealand International. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.