Some of us are old enough to remember the “Point/Counterpoint” segment on “60 MINUTES” where opposing viewpoints were presented on current issues. Of course later there was Siskel and Ebert, but now here are Mark and Dale!
We each reached different conclusions concerning the gay male couple who were recently arrested on an Atlantis Events cruise while docked in Dominica due to having sex on their balcony while being visible to people on shore.
DALE: My thought is that a good traveler needs to conform as much as possible to the culture in which he is a guest. “Guest” is a key word here.
MARK: I totally agree with that and I have seen the ‘Ugly American’ on most of my international trips. I believe what the two men did was highly inappropriate. Atlantis isn’t to blame, only the individuals involved.
Their actions would have been looked upon negatively in every part of the world. This was an example of where cruisers didn’t behave with the respect that a guest should display.
DALE: So do you think LGBT people should avoid Dominica because of this incident?
MARK: I don’t want to spend my hard-earned dollars in a country which is blatantly anti-gay. Likewise, I also choose not to support certain corporations due to their discrimination or employment policies. I frankly don’t see the difference.
DALE: But LGBT travelers visiting these less-than-gay-friendly cultures can be a positive thing. We can show by example that we as gay people are not a threat. America’s tolerance has increased due to the fact that so many gays are now out. With so many people knowing a gay family member, friend, or co-worker, we have made allies of many who were once intolerant. This would not have happened if we remained ‘invisible’.
MARK: So would you go to Dominica?
DALE: Yes. I believe we could make a difference by being there and acting appropriately for that region of the world. Would you go there Mark?
MARK: No. With all of the options out there, I would choose not to visit a place that I view as extremely homophobic. You’re right, we can make this world a better place by showing a good example. However, I can’t condone supporting anti-gay countries or institutions.
We’d love to know your feeling on this. Please add your comments. Here’s a list of countries where it’s illegal to be gay.