PM Sogavare uses independence anniversary speech to strongly condemn LGBTQIA+


Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has reiterated his strong stand against the Rainbow community.

In his speech to mark the country’s 45th independence anniversary yesterday, Mr Sogavare strongly condemned the adoption of theLGBTQIA+ issue in Solomon Islands saying it will destroy the Christian faith and cultural values.

LGBTIQA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual, and many other terms (such as non-binary and pansexual).

Sogavare said Solomon Islanders need to uphold their Christian and cultural values and not be influenced by such issues.

“Fellow Solomon Islanders… I’m increasingly uneasy about theLGBTQIA+ issue that has gained prominence. I will explain why I’m concerned. What happens there is not a concern to us, of course.

“My concern is how LGBTQIA+ has served their foreign policy and how that would affect us.

“That is why I’m concerned. I do not want the issue of LGBTQIA+ to be weaponized against us and used as a condition to accessing aid.

“I’m watching and following the debate there very closely and as conscious as possible of how the contents of television and movies that capture this are infiltrating our society.

“That is why the Government is establishing the SIBC TV that we own and do programmes that advise on our values.

“We have values, and we will not allow others to impose their values on us,” Sogavare said.

He said Solomon Islands has the Christian faith, values, diversity, culture, heritage, and tradition, which define Solomon Islands as a nation.

He added that the Solomon Islands must celebrate its heritage and cultural values.

“Our values and faith define us as a country of islands separated by sea but connected by History, traditions, blood ties, inter-marriages, the Church and Government, and also our faith and our creator, which are what hold us together culturally and spiritually,” Sogavare said.

This is not the first time for Solomon Islands leaders to openly express homophobic sentiments.

In 2017, PM Sogavare reportedly shared his homophobic views to a local church group, speaking against same-sex marriage.

In 2018, the then-governor general Sir Frank Kabui cautioned the nation against the ‘onslaught’ of the LGBTQ into Solomon Islands’ societies.

Same-sex marriage and same-sex sexual activity is illegal in the Solomons, upholding the law which criminalised it in the 1880s.

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