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Samoan fa'afaine don't want gay marriage

Fa'afaine, a third gender culture unique to Samoa, say they don't want gay marriage despite former colonial rulers New Zealand legalizing it
Samoa Fa'afaine Association on World AIDS Day 2012

The head of a group speaking out for the rights of Fa'afafine, a third gender culture unique to Samoa, say that gay marriage is low on their list of priorities.

Roger Stanley, President of the Samoa Fa'afaine Association (SFA), spoke to Radio Australia yesterday about same-sex marriage following its legalization by Samoa's former colonial ruler, New Zealand, and France, which still rules some of Samoa's island neighbors in Polynesia.

'It's a very delicate time and we don't want for the gay marriage to push out our other issues,' said Stanley, referring to a crime ordinance bill that proposes to de-criminalize female impersonation, indecent acts between males and sodomy in Samoa.

Stanley said Samoa's prime minister Tuilaepa Aiona Sailele Malielegaoi, who is patron of SFA, is against gay marriage and Christian Samoan culture would have trouble accepting it.

However historically fa'afaine are accepted in Samoan society.

'We fit very well and we are very much part of the society, so it's a matter of us trying to stick to that way,' said Stanley. 'And I think we are far much better off this way than supporting the case of gay marriage... we are happily living in harmony here in Samoa, so we just don't want to stir things up.' 

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