MPs have ignored worldwide threats of a tourism boycott and agreed unanimously to keep the law criminalising homosexuality for at least six more months. A select committee of MPs looking into the new Crimes Bill have been given that extra time to report back on their recommendation which could mean up to seven years in prison for same sex couples. Sue Fletcher-Vea, president of Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council said they were "disappointed" and it could impact on visitor numbers at the busiest time of the year. Opposition to reinstating prison sentences is strongest in New Zealand,which accounts for 70% of tourists to the Islands, where government MP Louisa Wall and other MPs signed a petition against criminalisation in Cook Islands.
Left: Co-president Val Wichman with Lady Tuaine Marsters (right) at the launch of the Cook Islands Pride campaign. Lady Marsters, wife of the Queen's Representativehas asked the Parliamentary committee of MPs headed by Elikana to "have the heart to understand the rights of the LGBT+ community as citizens of the country".