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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Renewed Calls To End Discrimination Against Tahiti Transvestites
Debate coincides French discussion about same sex marriage

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 27, 2013) – The French debate about the same sex marriage law has led to renewed calls for an end to discrimination of French Polynesia’s transvestites, or raerae.

This comes after a deputy of the French Assembly told French media that Tahiti’s homosexuals were a different species and that the law should be applied there later.

A local politician, Sabrina Birk, says young people are mainly in favour of the law change and the so-called raerae hope for a better legal status.

"They want to have the same rights such as adopting children, and to have jobs and not to have to dress like a man and not to have to cut their hair and completely wear men’s names. They want to be recognised completely as women."

Sabrina Birk says church groups are largely against the law change.

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