Cooks Islands rainbow community lobbies for constitutional rights


The Cook Islands LGBT+ association is citing the country’s Constitution as it seeks to stop laws discriminating against gay men. Section 64 of the Constitution protected people against discrimination, and guaranteed freedom of thought and conscience. However, the Crimes Act outlawed sexual acts between men who could be imprisoned for up to seven years. While the laws were not enforced, their existence meant they could be. With parliament due to review the Crimes Act at the end of the month, the President of Te Tiare Association Valery Wichman wanted to ensure homosexuality was decriminalised in the Cook Islands.

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