The Mark of the Jandal

Saturday, July 21, 2007

More of Teh Gay

For those of you who cannot wait to hear how this story ends on page two, your life is now complete:

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The management of the PFL Team Samoa is so keen to win gold at next month's South Pacific Games it has banned gay activities, drugs and alcohol for all team members.

It has also advised athletes to "eat to live and not live to eat" during the games.

The instructions are detailed in a memo to Team Managers, obtained by the Samoa Observer yesterday.

The memo was the outcome of a meeting of Team Managers at the Fagali'i Golf Course, on Friday 20 June 2007.

"Do not embarrass yourself, your family and your country by trying this in the (Games) village," the memo said about homosexual and lesbian relationships.

"Best not to even think about this. It's against the law of God."

The memo said the Management Team has set out rules and regulations so that there is peace and harmony at the village.

"With the rules and regulations there are also measures of discipline which the Management Team will exercise when any of these rules and regulations are violated," the memo warned.

"It is our desire that we are all mature, humble and responsible citizens, and therefore will not have to exercise these disciplinary measures."

But the memo has not gone down well with some athletes, sources said.

One sports administrator said the decision about homosexuals was "discriminative, outrageous" and "below the belt."

Speaking to the Samoan Observer on the condition of anonymity, she said what athletes do during the games is none of the management's business.

She said it appears the management team has isolated gays and lesbians which is "discriminating and downright arrogant."

But Chef de mission, Segi Bee Leung Wai defended the decision yesterday. He disagrees that it is "discriminatory and outrageous."

"We are against the practice of it in Team Samoa," he said. "when we stay together, we do not want a girl and another girl to show that relationship. According to the Bible, it is against the law."

But Mr Leung Wai said the rule does not mean gays or lesbians would be barred form representing Samoa.

"We are not saying not gays are allowed in Team Samoa," he pointed out.

"All we are saying is that we do not tolerate gay behavior within the village between members of our team or any other team.

"It is the same as saying athletes are as saying athletes are not allowed to drink alcohol or take drugs. After the games, these athletes who are gay or lesbian can then do whatever they want.

"But in the village and during the games, no such behaviour of any kind will be tolerated."

Mr Leung Wai said the idea is to prevent "embarrassing Samoa and the family of athletes."

"How would you feel if a member of your family was a fa'afafine and behaving gay towards other athletes within the village?" he asked.

"You wouldn't like it. We do not want embarrassment to fall on the families and onto Samoa."
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