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Choir sore at 'gay wedding'

By MARGARET WISE
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A MOCK wedding ceremony which was fun for travel agents was viewed differently by a village choir -- their moral buds soured because the couple in the demonstration were females.

There was a flurry of denials from the Nadi District Office and the Sonaisali Resort as they tried to purge any notion that a legalised gay marriage had taken place.

Resort general manager John Grocock said a group of 13 agents from Power Pacific were escorted to Sonaisali by the Fiji Visitors Bureau which was promoting weddings in Fiji.

"The agents then wanted to personally experience what we offered as a package. That is why the choir was asked to attend.

"We paid the choir so that the agents could experience what the tourists would enjoy," Mr Grocock said.

"It was just a demonstration wedding and it is unfortunate that the male in the group was sick so one of the female agents offered to role the play. That's all there is to it."

District Officer Nadi, Peni Nadredre, said the villagers can rest assured that no licence was issued and his presence had to do with a real wedding that took place later.

"Marriage in Fiji is only between an adult male and an adult female."

Members of the Korovuto choir said they did not sing after the entrance song because they were disgusted by what they saw. "We usually sing four hymns but we did not want to sing anymore because it was just not right," 53-year-old Watisoni Bakiki said.

"We are a church choir. This event was the talk of the village when we returned because all we were told was that we were going to a wedding.

"We came back angry and disgusted. Later, one of the villagers working at the hotel explained that it was a promotional gig. We should have been told because hymns are sacred."

Mr Grocock said the villagers, who are also landowners where the resort sits, should raise the issue with them.

"We have a good relationship with them so hopefully this will be sorted out now that I know they had an issue with the event."