I've definitely made it a point to look into LGBT issues on my wedding-learnin' trip to Fiji.
Admittedly Fiji has a rough past with gay travel, and I worried about what I'd find when I started asking around. I chatted with a bunch of folks born and raised in Fiji, and I wanted to share what they told me about the attitudes toward gay travel in Fiji today.
First, a few hard cold facts from the Wikipedia page dedicated to LGBT rights in Fiji…
- In 1997, Fiji became the second country in the world to explicitly protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution. In 2009, the Constitution was abolished.
- In 2010, the Government decided to decriminalise all sexual acts between persons of the same-sex by repealing the old Penal Code and replacing it with the Crimes Act 2010.
- Since February 1, 2010, both, male and female homosexuality are legal under the Crimes Act 2010.
So, I had dinner with a local woman (born and raised in Fiji and she's half Fijian and half Indian) who works for a hotel. When I asked her about gay weddings, she told me that gay weddings aren't done in Fiji because, like many places, they still aren't legal. I asked about commitment ceremonies and she said she wasn't sure — she'd never seen one done except for in Sex and the City 2. (Ok, that's kind of adorable.) BUT, she told me Fiji is full of gay honeymooners, who are welcomed with open arms in the resort areas. She said in the villages… well… she thinks that gay men would be more accepted than lesbians. Interesting.
Then I had a conversation with another woman born and raised in Fiji, who works for a tourist activities company. She also told me that she hadn't seen commitment ceremonies, but that she knows for a fact that being gay in Fiji is pretty culturally accepted. I can say that I met several openly gay Fijians working at the hotels where I've been staying, and chatted with them about local gay parties like the annual “Pricilla Night.” (Love that name.)
I've been chatting with a company who wants to get into doing offbeat destination weddings and they told me that they would be totally down to do commitment ceremonies for same sex couples! Innnnteresting. More about them later.
So, it looks like as far as legal LGBT weddings go — Fiji ain't the place to be. Commitment ceremonies — it's looking better! But at the moment, Fiji is best suited as a place for your big gay honeymoon.