Local same-sex couple blocked from renewing vows on Cook Islands beach

Cook Islands traditional leaders have forbidden a same-sex couple from renewing their vows on a Rarotonga beach.

The leaders, the Aronga Mana, have unanimously blocked the lesbian couple from performing the ceremony in their village saying "it will just extend to other things".

The couple, who are Cook Islanders and wanting to repeat their vows in front of family, are now planning to hold the ceremony at Muri beach.

But they are also likely to be blocked from there as traditional leaders from that area are meeting later this week about it.

Local MP Tama Tuavera told Cook Islands News that he is against same-sex marriage and "they are going to get chased out of (Muri)".

Another MP James Beer has advised the Aronga Mana to check with Crown Law about legislation saying it's a sensitive matter.

A Cook Islands beach (File picture) Source: 1 NEWS

The Cook Islands Crimes Act 1969 states any sexual act between men is illegal and can result in a prison sentence of up to five years.