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Tagged: Atlantis Events RSS
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.
Michael Schmidt, Roger, Ron and 21 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
After you read this article, please see our blog that we posted only a week ago. Your comments are encouraged. Should we as gay and lesbian people travel where we are not welcomed?
ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) — Two California men on a gay cruise of the Caribbean were arrested Wednesday in Dominica, where sex between two men is illegal.
Police Constable John George said police boarded the cruise ship and arrested the two men on suspicion of indecent exposure and “buggery,” a term equivalent to sodomy on the island. He identified the men as John Robert Hart, 41, and Dennis Jay Mayer, 43, but did not provide their hometowns.
George said the men were seen having sex on the Celebrity Summit cruise ship by someone on the dock.
The two were later charged with indecent exposure and are scheduled to appear before a magistrate Thursday morning. If found guilty, they could be fined $370 each and face up to six months in jail.
The ship carrying about 2,000 passengers departed Puerto Rico on Saturday and arrived in Dominica on Wednesday. It departed for St. Barts without the men, who are being held in a cell at police headquarters in the capital of Roseau.
The cruise was organized by Atlantis Events, a Southern California company that specializes in gay travel.
President Rich Campbell, who is aboard the cruise, said in a phone interview earlier that he thought the two men would be released. He later said in an email that the company has organized many trips to Dominica and would “happily return.”
“Many countries and municipalities that gay men visit and live in have antiquated laws on their books,” he said. “These statutes don’t pose a concern to us in planning a tourist visit.”
Campbell said he expects the two men to be released on Thursday and that they only face misdemeanor charges.
“The guests’ actions were unfortunate but minor in this case and have no bearing on our overall guest experience,” he said via email.
The pastor of Dominica’s Trinity Baptist Church, Randy Rodney, praised the police for their intervention.
“I am very pleased that the police were called in and have arrested the people in question. I have warned about gay tourism and its implications for Dominica,” said Rodney, who is a vocal critic of homosexuality and lesbianism.
The presence of gay cruises in the Caribbean has riled several conservative islands including Jamaica and Grenada, where anti-sodomy laws are enforced with strong backing from religious groups.
According to Cruisemates.com, no gay cruise lines sail to Jamaica or Barbados for fear of homophobia and possible violence. It said other places like the U.S. Virgin Islands welcome gay cruises.
In 2010, the Cayman Islands rejected the arrival of an Atlantis gay cruise amid protests from religious groups even though homosexuality is legal on the archipelago.
Don Weiner, a spokesman for Atlantic Events, referred all questions to Campbell, including why the company organized a trip to Dominica and whether it knew about the island’s anti-sodomy laws.
Elizabeth Jakeway, a spokeswoman for Celebrity Cruises, referred all questions to Atlantis.
The last time authorities in the Caribbean intervened on a gay cruise was in February 2011, when agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested a California man aboard the Allure of the Seas, which had docked in St. Thomas. The man, Steven Barry Krumholz of West Hollywood, pleaded guilty to selling ecstasy, methamphetamine and ketamine to fellow passengers.
Associated Press writers Danica Coto and Ben Fox in San Juan, Puerto Rico contributed
The Sun UK says the unnamed passenger who fell off an Atlantis all-gay cruise “intentionally went overboard”. Royal Caribbean representatives who reviewed the security tapes said the British man did not fall accidentally and was not pushed over the railings.
The 30-year-old passenger plunged from his balcony on deck 11 of luxury liner Allure of the Seas in waters off Mexico… The ship made multiple public announcements and began a complete search of the ship, in efforts to locate the guest. When the guest did not respond to the pages and was not found onboard, the captain alerted the local authorities of the situation. Our care team is providing support to the guest’s family and our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
Atlantis has had it’s share of ‘events’ recently on their cruises. What are your thoughts?
Duh. What has taken the DEA and Customs officers and foreign drug enforcement agencies so freaking long? Knowing of the drug problems in my own gay community (Vancouver), I’ve always believed gay cruises would be loaded with drug users / pushers / sellers.
Some of you may call me prudish (it’s happened before), but I don’t do drugs. But regardless of your or my stance on whether or not it’s ok to do drugs, the simple fact is they are illegal in just about every political jurisdiction on earth.
When we cruise, we are almost always crossing at least one international border. It is just as illegal to move drugs via cruise ship between two countries as it is to move them in other methods, and just as illegal to have them onboard the ship when it’s in port.
And they are illegal on cruise ships. Atlantis official policies pay lip service to the fact that drugs are both illegal and banned onboard the ships they charter, although I suspect they’ve been turning a blind eye for a very long time. I’ve only sailed through their all-gay sister company RSVP, but the nightly circuit party atmosphere on those trips was hardly different from land-based circuit parties. And we all know the reason so many people are drinking water instead of booze. It’s usually not because they’re naturally thirsty.
In short, don’t be stupid, people. If you have a drug problem, get help. If you require drugs for sex or want to P&P, I strongly recommend you don’t plan to bring them or do it when you cruise. Something tells me the authorities are going to be watching our community just a bit more closely. And I, for one, say it’s about freaking time.
If you need a real dose of reality on this topic, rent the classic movie Midnight Express.
Mike Cashwell, and Dave Cantrall are discussing. Toggle Comments
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