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We don't support gay rights says Fiji Methodists Church, Gay rights march called off
3:30 pm GMT+12, 17/05/2012, Fiji
Fiji’s Methodist Church says it is against giving gays special rights.

Methodist Church of Fiji assistant general secretary Tevita Nawadra told FijiLive the church does not approve of the promotion of gays in the society.

Nawadra said the church maintains its stand on the union of man and woman alone. “The church is aware of individual rights in the gay community but we are not with them on their stand,” said Nawadra.
 
“Gay rights are something the church will always be against as it is against the church’s moral stand.

“We do not approve of the promotion of gays in the society. (However) the church will never hesitate to help any man or woman in need regardless of their sexuality.”

 But reigning Hibiscus King and youth activist Peter Waqavonovono said it’s time to end the silence on homophobic bullying and demand safer schools.

Waqavonovono said we cannot exclude persons because of their gender. “The message needs to begin in our homes and schools, where students can fully express themselves responsibly and maybe it's time we teach students to accept difference and learn to work together.”

Waqavonovono said Fiji will need all its citizens in order to build a sustainable democracy, in this journey.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation will be releasing a publication on the findings of the first ever International Consultation on Homophobic Bullying in Educational Institutions today.

The publication titled 'Good Policy and Practice in HIV and Health Education – Booklet 8: Education Sector Responses to Homophobic Bullying' also marks the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia today.

 “This report from UNESCO will confirm the reality of bullying in our schools and how we are building communities that safeguard ignorance and homophobia,” said a representative of an anti-bullying campaign.

Meanwhile, the march through city streets planned for tonight to mark support for gays, lesbians and transgendered, has been cancelled.

The early evening march had a permit, allowing it to proceed from the Flea Market to Ratu Sukuna Park.

According to organisers, the Fiji Police Force cancelled the permit, saying quote…“we didn’t realise that this was a march for gays and les” unquote.

Organisers also say that according to police, they had received a directive from the Ministry of Defence to cancel the march.

Social group Oceania Pride said  they were given the permit to march on the 20th of April by the Fiji Police Force.

The Suva City Council also gave approval for the public procession.

The group says the cancellation of the permit is a violation of the freedom

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/ FBC/PACNEWS

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