The MP leading a plan to make same-sex relations a crime with up to seven years in prison is digging his heels in over the proposal. Select committee chair Tingika Elikana claims public consultation shows an overwhelming majority of Cook Islanders want to keep a provision in the proposed Crimes Act making homosexuality illegal. But the recommendation to Parliament is facing strong international opposition and calls around the world for a boycott of the islands as a tourist destination. Elikana was speaking on Radio New Zealand just after the launch of the Cook Islands Pride Campaign. Three members of the Select Committee have renounced the plan and say no decision has been made. The proposed Act will go before Parliament next February.
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".