Foreign preachers opposed to homosexuality targeting Pacific nations

A human rights activist and lawyer says there are signs that churches from outside the Pacific region are starting to focus on the Pacific and to send missionaries or preachers there who are intolerant of homosexuality.

Dr Paula Gerber says “The church is a very broad term. There is certainly some religious bodies that are very anti-homosexuality, and others that are more supportive.”

She says lot of the churches that have been in the Pacific for a long time are quite tolerant of homosexuality and transgender.

But, she says, pastors coming from churches outside of the Pacific region are telling families that “if they’ve got a transgender child, or a gay son or daughter, that they should reject them in order to comply with God’s will if you like.”

Gerber said the UN has a sort of monitoring role of all countries and their human rights records, and they do this through reviews every three to five years in a process called the universal periodic review.

Some Pacific Island countries have told the UN they are happy to look at repealing the laws of criminalised homosexuality, others have indicated that they will do exactly the opposite.

The countries who say they are willing to change the law are Palau, Nauru and the Cook Islands.

The countries that have said they will not do so are Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga.

Associate Professor Paula Gerber is President of Kaleidoscope Australia Human Rights Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the Asia Pacific region.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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