By Melanie Nathan, 03/22/2012
Gay Cruise and Safari community if you had been reading my blog for a while you may have noticed that I have been talking about the criminalization of homosexuality in many African countries to which we cruise and peruse! I have mentioned our hypocrisy as a an LGBT community for conducting our vacations in areas where lesbians and gay men have been arrested or are subjected to arrest for the very loving we as tourists do while cavorting as tourists in their countries. Now maybe when it happens to our own we may take pause to notice!
Today I was alerted to a story on NBC at http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Gay-Cruise-Ship-Dominica-Buggery-Sodomy-Charges-143819716.html, reporting that two California men on a cruise were arrested Wednesday in Dominica and charged with “buggery,” a legal term equivalent to sodomy, after someone on a dock claimed to have witnessed the men having sex on the cruise ship.
“West Hollywood-based Atlantis Events, a company that specializes in gay cruises, organized the trip on the Celebrity Summit, which departed Puerto Rico on Saturday and arrived in Dominica on Wednesday. The case involves a Dominica law regarding sexual contact between men. “Many countries and municipalities that gay men visit and live in have antiquated laws on their books,” company president Rich Campbell, who is aboard the cruise, told the Associated Press. Campbell told the AP he expects the two men will be released Thursday and face misdemeanor charges. The men, ages 41 and 43, were charged with indecent exposure. They were scheduled to appear be a magistrate Thursday morning. They face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $370 fine. Although they were identified by authorities as Californians, information regarding their hometowns was not immediately available.
Perhaps in this instance the revelers should have considered the portside exposure. Perhaps the Atlantis should be cited for failing to monitor on board portside sex acts happening in the public eye, (if that was indeed the case,) with warning to passengers to keep sex play off deck while in port!
However now is the time to take heed:-
Gay and lesbian cruises are lucrative business and unlikely in the name of a buck to curb the business for good cause. Some time ago when I mentioned my concerns to one such tour operator whom I shall not name, I was told that if the cruise business had to consider the politics of each and every port of call, they would not be in business.
I recently wrote an article about Safaris in Africa, imploring upon the LGBT tour companies to only conduct safaris in countries where homosexuality and lesbian love is not criminalized. Are we going to wait for more arrests on foreign soil and are we going to gallivant and enjoy our vacations while local LGBT people suffer the most heinous of human rights infractions, the criminalization for our right to love.