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Time for tolerance

WITH the decriminalisation in Nauru of homosexuality under the Crimes Decree, many questions will surface from concerned individuals and civil society organizations. There will be a number of nongovernment organisations which fully support the decriminalisation of the sexual activities of gays, lesbians and people of transgender.

Many conservative Christian churches will, however, take a hard stance against this new approach by the law. Under the old laws which governed Nauru and much of the Pacific, sodomy – now known as men having sex with men – was considered a criminal act.

This is not the case under Nauru’s new laws. Two men who have consensual sex cannot be prosecuted because their actions are not considered criminal. Women having sex with persons of the same danger have never been considered to be taking part in a criminal activity.

Whatever individuals may believe about gay, lesbian and transgender sexual activities, the fact remains that the law now allows for people of the same sex to have intimate relationships. To object to the new laws by claiming that such activities never happened in the past would be an act of hypocrisy. Research shows that consensual homosexual activities, especially among Pacific men, have existed for hundreds of years.

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