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Tonga set to ban same-sex marriage

Tue 21 Apr 2015 In: International News View at Wayback

Tonga will explicitly ban same-sex marriage, so it can keep churches happy when it ratifies the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination on Women. It allows women the right to choose who they marry, but churches are angry it could open the door for marriage equality or abortion. A press release from the Prime Minister’s office says it will enact the convention, “to the extent that it will not allow for same sex marriages or abortion in the Kingdom”. It says consultation “may also be carried out with church leaders, as well as parliament before the actual signing for ratification”. Radio New Zealand reports the chief executive of Internal Affairs Lopeti Senituli has stated the government is planning law changes to satisfy the church leaders. "Under our existing Deaths, Births and Marriages Registration Act there is no specific reference for or against same sex marriage. The government is proposing now that we amend our Deaths, Births and Marriages Registration Act to prohibit same-sex marriage." Tonga is one of only seven nations yet to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination on Women. Tonga currently does not recognise any same-sex unions. Male same-sex activity is technically illegal, with penalties of imprisonment and whipping, but this is not enforced. Are you a Tongan person from the lgbti community who would like to comment on this issue? You're welcome to email    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 21st April 2015 - 9:43am

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