Gay marriage in Samoa?

You’re dreaming, PM says
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi. [Samoa Observer]

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has scoffed at suggestions that Samoa might follow New Zealand in legalising same-sex marriage. “Speaking as a Patron of fa’afafine that are not gay, I have not heard of such a wish,” Tuilaepa said.

Asked if he would support the movement if it comes to Samoa, Tuilaepa responded; “You are dreaming.” He did not elaborate. The Prime Minister’s views were sought during a joint press conference with New Zealand Prime Minister To’oolesavili John Key to celebrate 50 years of the Treaty of Friendship between the two countries. History shows that Samoa has a tendency to follow and support what happens in New Zealand.

The trend has given rise to fears that Samoa might follow New Zealand’s lead. New Zealand’s Parliament is about to vote for Labour MP, Louisa Wall’s Gay Marriage Bill. Before he came to Samoa, To’oolesavili publically backed the bill.

"I don't see anything in terms of gay marriage that would undermine my marriage to Bronagh,” To’oolesavili told the New Zealand media.

“At the end of the day that's a very personal thing between two people and what others choose to do I actually don't see how that affects that." Mr Key, however, accepted other people believed differently. He said it seemed likely people were born gay "although I can't claim any sort of medical rationale".

"What causes someone to be heterosexual in my case, or homosexual in the case of others is something I can't explain to you." The NZ government endorsement of gay marriage was made following the boost provided earlier this year by U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron on similar proposals pending on their respective nations. Louisa Wall’s Bill has already created controversy in New Zealand.

While there are a growing number of MPs in support, others continue to oppose it. Mana Party leader, Hone Harawira, who was also in Samoa this week, is a strong supporter of gay marriage.


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