World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Suppression of sexual minorities bad practice

Press release: Friday 2 September 2005

Suppression of sexual minorities “contrary to good public health practice”

A call to criminalise homosexual sex in Fiji will endanger public health and foster the spread of HIV/AIDS, the New Zealand AIDS Foundation says.

The Foundation has expressed deep concern at the likely public health impact of a proposal by the Fijian Methodist Church for a mass march to pressure their Government to criminalise gay and lesbian sex, after a Fijian high court judge ruled that consensual gay sex in private was protected by the country’s constitution and was not illegal.

“The church’s intention is completely contrary to good public health practice,” says NZAF Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier. “The spread of HIV is facilitated by the prejudice, discrimination and marginalisation of minority communities that this proposed parade and law change would create. The result would be to drive Fijian gay men deep underground where they would be almost impossible to reach with HIV education and prevention programmes and resources such as condoms and lube. Thus this proposal, if adopted by the Fijian Government, would facilitate the spread of HIV/AIDS in Fiji.”

Ms Le Mesurier says that one of the reasons New Zealand was so successful in its early reaction to the presence of HIV was the passage of law decriminalising homosexual behaviour and extending human rights legislation to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or the presence of disease. This enabled gay men, intravenous drug users and sex workers to openly form, and associate with, organisations aimed at providing HIV/AIDS support and prevention.

Ms Le Mesurier says that while the Fijian Methodist Church is entitled to hold and express its beliefs on the issue of homosexuality, it should not seek to impose those beliefs on all people through the secular mechanisms of the Government and the law.

“Neither will this proposed rally speak for all Christians. There are many expressions of Christian faith in the world that do not share the Fijian Methodist Church’s view of homosexuality.

“International health authorities are already warning of a potential HIV/AIDS time bomb threatening the Pacific. There could not be a worse time to foster suppression and silence around sexuality and HIV.”


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news