‘Listen to our voices’: Pasifika protest over anti-gay laws at pride march


The ongoing criminalisation of homosexuality around Oceania was the focus for the Pacific community at Saturday’s 7000 strong Rainbow Pride march in New Zealand’s largest city. Now called Our-March, the march focusses on inequities still experienced in the rainbow community around New Zealand and the Pacific. The Pasifika contingent took pride of place leading the march and there were strong words for Pacific Island politicians. Consensual sex between men is a criminal act in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu, and both men and women in Solomon Islands. Labour Party MP Louisa Wall said those were colonial laws established to break down and disempower indigenous cultures. “Fundamentally, the laws that criminalise us as LGBT, as rainbow peoples, are racist, and they’re colonial. And they actually continue to perpetuate, I think, our state of subjugation. And that is really the challenge for us and we’ve seen it today, the uprising of our Pasifika community.”

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