A Samoan’s gay marriage brings issue closer to home

Will Brobbel (left) and Ralph Molesi, the first gay couple to wed in Wairarapa, share their joy with ring bearers brothers Drew, 11, and Tyreese Molesi, 8, Ralph's nephews. PHOTO/LYNDA FERINGA

Will Brobbel (left) and Ralph Molesi, the first gay couple to wed in Wairarapa, share their joy with ring bearers brothers Drew, 11, and Tyreese Molesi, 8, Ralph’s nephews. PHOTO/LYNDA FERINGA

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA: THURSDAY 17 OCTOBER 2013: Gay marriage edged closer to home with the screening on television last night of a civil union between two males.

Though the marriage took place in Masterton, New Zealand, one of the pair was Samoan Ralph Molesi.

Tagata Pasefika aired Ralph’s preparation for the ceremony, his mother giving him away, the ceremony, the first kiss of the males as a married couple, the reception, and the first waltz and more kissing at Churchill Rose Garden in Masterton.

Ralph’s parents and family supported Ralph’s tying of the knot with Will Brobbel.

But Papali’i Seifiti Toga, a 76-year-old woman of Vaivase –tai just about danced in her chair in agitation as she watched the ceremony.

“It’s a Christian thing to do,” said Ralph’s mum on Tagata Pasefika.

“There is nothing Christian about same sex marriage,” Papali’i almost screamed, at the television.

“I am so disgusted,” she kept repeating.

She swore at the television throughout the programme.

Several people on the street today shared Papali’i’s anti-gay marriage view but others believed that it was either make such unions legal or let gay partners live in sin.

“We are in the 21st century,” said one comment.

Several pastors of the Methodist Church nodded as one of them called the ceremony “Rubbish.”

National Council of Churches – to which mainstream churches belong – remains firm against same sex marriage whether here in Samoa or anywhere else in the world, said General Secretary Rev. Maauga Motu.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has said that “as long as I’m around as Prime Minister, same sex marriage will never be allowed in Samoa.”

Ralph and Will lived in Australia but moved to New Zealand to get married since NZ allowed same sex marriage.

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