ERASING 76 CRIMES
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A queen in the traditional royalty of the Cook Islands has spoken out against her country’s law against same-sex intimacy.
Marie Pa Ariki, who is Takitumu paramount chief in the Cook Islands, says it is unfair and unjust for gay people to be treated as criminals due to who they love and how they express that love, GayNZ reported.
She has influence in the Cook Islands, but lacks the power to change its laws. The tiny South Pacific nation is a representative democracy, led by a chief minister who implements laws passed by its parliament. The nation’s parliament building is unimposing, a former hotel. The nation is associated with New Zealand, which handles its foreign relations and defense.
Under the laws of the Cook Islands, sexual intimacy between men is punishable by up to seven years in prison.
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