Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has dismissed international pressure to relax his country’s anti-gay laws, saying homosexuality was a sin.

Qarase’s comments follow the jailing last week of an Australian tourist and a Fiji man for consensual gay sex.

Thomas Maxwell McCoskar, 55, and 23-year-old Dhirendra Nadan were released on bail this week after a Fiji High Court appeal.

The Fiji Prime Minister said the Bible showed homosexuality was sinful and that observers should not interfere with Fijian law, Australian Associated Press reported.

The comments provoked an angry response from federal Greens senator Kerry Nettle.

Nettle, who attended a protest over the issue in Sydney earlier this week, called on the Australian government to distance itself from Qarase’s stance.

The government’s silence on this issue looks like a tacit endorsement of the discriminatory homophobic views of the Fijian Prime Minister and the magistrate who jailed these men, Nettle said.

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