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J_Migoe
Apr 14th, 2005, 11:35 PM
Community - Planet Out


U.K. warns gay tourists on Fiji travel

Wed Apr 13, 8:38 PM ET Community - Planet Out


Ben Townley, Gay.com U.K.

SUMMARY: The U.K. has warned lesbian and gay travelers visiting Fiji of the island's "complex" attitude toward sexuality, in light of the recent arrest of a gay Australian tourist.



The U.K. government has warned lesbian and gay travelers planning to visit Fiji of the island's "complex" attitude toward sexual diversity, in light of the recent arrest of a gay Australian tourist.


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued the warning after Thomas Maxwell McCoskar was arrested for having sex with local man Dhirendra Nandan.


The men were given two-year prison sentences, with ruling magistrate Syed Muhktar Shah admonishing them for bringing "shame" to the Pacific country. He told the court that their "crimes" would make "any decent person vomit."


Both men were released on bail Tuesday.


The FCO has updated its advice to travelers, warning that lesbian and gay tourists should be wary of the island's often conflicting stance on gay issues.


Despite homosexuality being illegal, laws do protect gay people from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Additionally, the FCO says that traditions should not be mistaken for leniency toward homosexuality.


"Gay and lesbian travelers should note that Fijian attitudes toward homosexuality are complex," the update reads. "Despite examples of cross-dressing within the traditional Pacific culture, there can be aggressive outbursts against homosexuality.


"A further complication is that while the 1997 Constitution provides for sexual freedom and equality, primary legislation still exists that prohibits homosexual acts, even in private."


Meanwhile, protesters in Australia -- and across the globe -- are still calling on the country's government to intervene in the case and ensure McCoskar is freed. They say the ruling against the pair goes against the discrimination laws and violates human rights.


McCoskar and Nandan were freed on bail after they contested the magistrate's comments, and argued their sentence was a result of his prejudice toward LGBT people.




sickening or what!!???

J_Migoe
Apr 15th, 2005, 02:37 AM
dito

Scotso
Apr 15th, 2005, 04:17 AM
Well I certainly hope that the Australian government will intervene. This is just stupid.

Andy_
Apr 15th, 2005, 09:33 AM
I find the use of the word "complex" rather amusing :rolleyes::tape:

bionic71
Apr 15th, 2005, 10:26 AM
If I may be so bold as to make light of the story....I've been to Fiji a few times and I wasn't arrested....nor do I recall making anyone "vomit"...although it is advised to check that all shell-fish are fresh, as eating stale seafood can be an incredibly "complex" situation!:)


That said...what were these guys doing, and where, to get themselves arrested?....

charmedRic
Apr 15th, 2005, 08:30 PM
:( Eeek.

Martian Willow
Apr 15th, 2005, 08:34 PM
The men were given two-year prison sentences, with ruling magistrate Syed Muhktar Shah admonishing them for bringing "shame" to the Pacific country.

The irony. :o