Samoan author Lani Wendt Young is no stranger to online abuse. She has spoken out on her blog and social media as a survivor of child sexual abuse and is an LGBT rights advocate - both highly contentious issues in conservative Samoa. But none of her previous experience with bullying on Facebook over the past two years has prepared her for the torrent of threats - of death, rape and otherwise - that began in January on the platform. A new abuser took the form of a notorious, but anonymous Samoan blog, which is run by multiple people, Ms Wendt Young said. "I had one man in particular who was quite upset with me, writing to tell me that he was going to chop me up and drag my carcass behind his truck, cook me in an umu," she said, using the Samoan word for an earth oven.
The constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status, and the government generally respected these provisions. The constitution does not address sexual orientation or gender identity. The society publicly recognizes the transgender Fa’afafine community, although members of the community reported instances of social discrimination.... Expand
The constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status, and the government generally respected these provisions. The constitution does not address sexual orientation or gender identity. The society publicly recognizes the transgender Fa’afafine community, although members of the community reported instances of social discrimination. Male same-sex sexual activity is illegal. Politics and culture generally reflected a heritage of matai privilege and power, and members of certain families of high traditional status possessed some advantages.
“Sodomy” and “indecency between males” are illegal, with maximum penalties of seven and five years’ imprisonment, respectively, but these provisions were not actively enforced with regard to consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults.
Although the pre-existing law was not enforced for decades, the 2013 Crimes Act decriminalizes the act of “impersonating a woman.”
Although there were no reports of societal violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity, there were isolated cases of discrimination.
Source: U.S. Department of State's  Human Rights ReportContract
Momentum is gathering for greater equality for LGBTI people in the Pacific Islands, especially because the situation is deteriorating there. A coalition of LGBTI advocates have come together to start a petition to push nations in the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to create policies which would force member states ‘to support full inclusivity, equity and equality for all people of the Pacific’. Joey Joleen Mataele is one of Tonga’s and the region’s most high profile LGBTI advocates. She is also a founder of the Tonga Leitis Association (TLA) who work to shelter LGBTI youth. Leitis is the name of trans women in Tonga. ‘Things have actually gotten worse rather than better in recent years due to the influence of fundamentalist religious groups from abroad,’ Mataele told Gay Star News.
The group of gays, lesbians, transsexuals and homosexuals COLLEAGUES has warned in a statement on the list of " The 10 most ethical destinations for travel " promoted by an NGO called "Ethical Traveler" and being published in some Spanish media. Countries offered by the NGO Ethical Traveler as "ethical tourist destination" apply laws with very harsh penalties against homosexuals. In Dominicawhere it is 15 years and the possibility of treatment in a psychiatric institution while in the Caribbean also Granada penalties are up to 10 years in prison. In Tonga a punishment of 10 years climbing in is also set Tuvalu to 14. While Samoa shows a legislation which is not only punishable homosexual relationship, punishable by 5 years in prison, but also hosting gays, which punishes offenders with sentences of up to 7 years.
The technical advisor of the Samoa Fa’afafine Association and member of the ILGA board defines herself “an activist by accident.” Nevertheless, she has grown very clear ideas on the importance of respecting the diversity of cultural values within the human rights framework.
The path to social and legal equality for LGBTI people in the Pacific Island nations will be a long and slow one best taken in small and careful steps, participants in a conference were told last week. Several speakers noted that Pacific Island LGBTI people face many obstacles, including the need for more liberal education, improved income and resources and, especially, some way of countering religious teachings that motivate bigotry and intolerance in the highly Christian nations.
At a beauty pageant in eastern Australia, contestants define themselves not as men or women, but as fa’afafine, a term that “Western culture struggles to define.” Thought to have originated in Samoa, for many fa’afafine, “the true definition is our chosen roles.”
Many LGBTI youth experience dread entering their schools, fearing that taunting, exclusion and even violence may await. UNESCO, UNDP and Being LGBTI in Asia encourage parents, peers and teachers to join the #PurpleMySchool campaign aimed at creating safety for LGBTI youth in educational settings throughout Asia and the Pacific.
The United Nations has called for action in a new campaign against homophobia and transphobia in the Pacific Islands. Currently there are 77 countries where it is illegal to engage in any sexual activity with a person of the same sex. Eight of these countries are Pacific nations.
Delegations from across the Asia-Pacific region have committed to taking steps to address homophobic and transphobic bullying in their schools. As part of the initiative the #PurpleMySchool online campaign, which aims to promote safe spaces for LGBTI students, was launched.
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