The company behind a “gay” cruise that caused a bit of a stir in Dominica and resulted in two cruise passengers being fined by the local courts, has been seeking to clear the air on what actually happened.
The cruise was organized by Atlantis Events, a Southern California company that specializes in gay travel.
On its Atlantis Event Incorporated FaceBook page, the company’s President Rich Campbell apologizes “for the late post”, explaining that “ we have been at sea for the past 18 hours with limited internet access”.
Here is the rest of what the Atlantis Events president had to say about the matter:
“We appreciate the comments on this board regarding the incident in Dominica yesterday, but would sincerely ask that most of you get the facts correct before condemning Atlantis or Dominica for what happened. Here are the facts:
Yesterday morning around 9:30 am two of our guests were seen engaging in a sexual act outdoors on their balcony in full public view of the port and town.
Not only did many of the residents witness the act, several of our guests saw this incident as well.
The local authorities responded to a complaint by several residents.
The two gentlemen were arrested on a misdemeanor charge of public indecency and detained overnight.
They appeared in front of the local magistrate this morning, paid a small fine, and were released in full.
Please understand that the complaint and subsequent arrests had nothing to do with the guests’ sexual orientation, nor was any “anti-gay” law invoked.
These guests were engaged in behavior that is inappropriate in any port of call, or major city for that matter.
The guests were never left on their own.
We had both representatives from Atlantis and Celebrity cruises with them at all times during their ordeal and had our local representatives look after them last night.
Furthermore, we worked closely with the US Embassy in Barbados to assure that their safety was always being monitored.
Atlantis had 2000 guests in port yesterday in Dominica and most of them had an outstanding time visiting the country.
Celebrity Cruises has been extremely supportive, working with Atlantis to insure these guests’ safety and security despite their detention in Dominica.
We commend them for their unwavering support through this incident.
President, Atlantis Events, Inc.”
According to the Associated Press news agency, 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.
AP quotes Cruisemates.com, explaining that 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.
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