Cruise Control

Publisher of Florida Gay Mag In Fiery Tirade Over Dominica Cruise Arrests: Boycott Atlantis

The publisher of Fort Lauderdale-based South Florida Gay News is not happy about what went down in Dominica last week, when two gay men from Palm Springs were arrested on board an Atlantis cruise for being naked and/or boinking in publicSo not happy, in fact, that he’s calling for a boycott of the gay cruise company.

SGFN publisher Norm Kent, who’s also a local criminal defense attorney and former talk radio host, comes out swinging and doesn’t mince words about what he sees as the main cause of the brouhaha:

This is because the land of Dominica is socially retarded, a lot like the emerging African community of Kenya, recently stirred to insane and bizarre ideological frenzies over homosexuality. They hate their gays in Dominica. Beat ’em, but don’t be ’em.

Kent then details the account of what happened to the arrestees, Dennis Mayer and John Hart, as has been previously reported here. He then continues:

In summary, these island guests were treated like a black kid wearing a hoodie in Sanford, Florida. Here is the thing, though. Gay America and LGBT Californians can do something about it. We can rightfully expect the cruise ship companies to defend their guests and stand up for their rights. Or so we thought.

Asks Kent:

Why the hell is a cruise ship company catering to the LGBT community running cruises to islands that openly and brazenly discriminate against gay populations? What kind of morons are we giving our money to? What kind of morons must we be to give them our money?

This may all be minor and unfortunate to Mr. [Rich] Campbell and his multi million dollar parade of cruise ships, but they are not minor to the South Florida Gay News or our website, They represent a major concern. Consequently, we are going to stand up for the rights of the LGBT community even if the cruise cartel won’t. First, from this day forth this paper shall not accept advertising or publicize the programs of Atlantis Events or Celebrity Cruises. Second, this paper calls for all gay men of good conscience to conscientiously boycott those cruises and their launches to ports which openly discriminate against gay life and gay Americans. This is not about the wrongfulness of two gay men being caught engaged in a pubic act in a public place. They would be as wrong for doing the nasty on a public balcony on a cruise ship as in front of a condo swimming pool in a retirement community in Boca.

This is about the wrongfulness of a cruise ship enterprise being so willing to ask the gay community to spend their gay dollars in ports of call that are harbors of hate, decks of discrimination, and points of poison.

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  • Charley

    While some discretion should have been exercised by the couple by not appearing naked while in port (any port) Atlantis needs to discontinue stops in homophobic countries.

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    I agree with the editorial +100%.

  • JAW

    I agree that the guys were fools, no matter where they were… perhaps if they were out in the open ocean they might have gotten away with it.

    I do have concerns that Atlantis would take Gay travelers to such ant-gay places and perhaps put us in harms way. When I have gone on their trips before, I guess I had expectations that they would take us to gay friendly locations. Why the hell would I want to support the economy of not only unfriendly, But ANTI GLBT countries.

    It will be a long time before I trust Atlantis, Royal Caribbean Celebrity and their other names…


  • WillBFair

    I think another mistake was in not warning the passengers to be careful. As I’ve noted, gay culture is a lot more casual about sex. And sometimes we need to be reminded not to frighten the horses.

  • DenverHo

    THE DUDES WERE F*CKING IN PUBLIC… What part of that is okay anywhere outside of The Folsom Street Fair?! The world is FULL of places that are homophobic and hostile towards us. But to openly antagonize a country’s people while you are a GUEST IN THEIR COUNTRY, is just plain STUPID AND RUDE. What these guys did was no better or worse than the soldiers who burned a copy of the Koran in Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago. You don’t go to someone’s house as a guest, piss all over everything, and expect them not to react negatively. Grow the hell up and screw indoors if you are THAT horny!

  • MarkG

    I agree with Charlee – I think the solution is boycott Dominica OR any stop in homophobic ports – you can just refuse to get off the ship and spend your dollars in that port. Not to boycott a gay business.

    But at the same time we need to act like responsible people – how can we say we are “just like everyone else” and deserve all the same rights – marriage and adoption etc when we have people in our own community doing this kind of stuff.

    I have been on at least 2 Atlantis Cruises – both the mexican rivieria and there was enough craziness that happens at sea that being in a port does not need this type of behavior – I’m talking about open sex happening in bathrooms – sauna – guys walking around with cum dripping on their legs – puking in the pools causing them to be drained etc..

  • Christopher

    @DenverHo: This editorial isn’t about that at all…did you read it? It is about the culture in Dominica, and their attitudes toward gay people, and why a gay cruise company’s supporting such a culture. We get it, these guys did something inappropriate (maybe), but read this article has nothing to do with what those guys did, and everything to do with where gay money goes.

  • the crustybastard

    The editorial is correct in every regard, but I’d go even further.

    My extended family and friends cruise together. Many of us are gay, but the cruises we take aren’t. Our first group cruise had a scheduled stop in Jamaica. At the time, I had no idea how viciously homophobic that country was and is.

    Prior to committing to this itinerary, the cruise line doesn’t caution passengers that Jamaicans commonly attack and even murder people they perceive to be gay. They made no similar announcement prior to arrival in port.*

    Now, if it was ANY other group at risk, I doubt the cruise line would casually ignore the danger.

    In other words, if there was a place where white people or Americans were in real jeopardy of being prosecuted, attacked, tortured or murdered by the locals merely for being white or American, can you imagine that a cruise line would dock there?

    I can’t.

    All cruise lines — not just gay charters — should be required to caution EVERY passenger in advance about dangerously homophobic ports if they insist on continuing to visit those ports.

    However, NO cruise line should visit any port where locals routinely attack any minority.

    That’s the point we’re missing by focusing exclusively on Atlantis charters.

    (*Fortunately, a storm suddenly blew in and we avoided landing on that foul shithole of a country.)

  • the crustybastard


    Ports charge huge fees for cruise ships to dock. Those fees are divided among the passenger fares. Even before you get off the ship and start shopping, you’ve already given a nice chunk of change to the country.

    Also, cut the strawman crap. Nobody is insisting on some right to be an irresponsible tourist. Nobody is saying the two exhibitionists are blameless. The problem is that Dominica made a circus out of a criminal prosecution of a gay couple for the same behavior they would ignore if it was a straight couple.

    Which means Dominica criminally prosecuted the couple for being gay.

    That’s as unacceptable as a US jurisdiction criminally prosecuting a couple for sodomy or public nudity on the basis that they’re Dominican nationals.

  • Kev Seasick (typical Queerty poster)

    “In summary, these island guests were treated like a black kid wearing a hoodie in Sanford, Florida.”

    Really? They were shot dead??? (Who knew?) Gee, I read on Queerty they were called “rogues” and “vagabonds,” fined $890 and sent back to Palm Springs pronto.

    I think the editorial means something like: These uppity Caribbean blacks just don’t know their place like our Florida blacks do! Florida of course is a GAY PARADISE where everything gay has been perfect for years and years!

  • Spike

    @Charley: Or maybe you can choose to not go on an Atlantis Cruise and I can choose to go on one that may or may not stop in 100% gay friendly ports of call and I can choose to behave in such a way that does not bring undo attention on myself. Take note, 2K+ very gay guys were in port that day, taking shore excursions, ect., none of them were arrested for being gay, it was in fact the two idiots fucking on their balcony that you are defending in your call for a boycott.

    Classic reflection of the gay community with respect to the apologist who are using this incident to condemn Dominica and Atlantis when in fact there was no issues as it involved the 2K+ passengers who were in port that day. If the two guys chose not to fuck on their balcony, the ship would have come and gone with no incident, no calls for boycott, etc.

  • the crustybastard


    Applying your reasoning, Lawrence v Texas was decided wrongly because the jurisdiction has every right to make whatever laws it likes and enforce them in any manner it sees fit.

    Also, the sodomy laws were ok since most gay people were never arrested or prosecuted under the laws.

    Your reasoning is a rationalization in favor of homophobia.

    And also, ignorant.

  • MarkG

    @crustybastard – that’s a good point I didn’t think about – port fees. IMO then it behooves (is that a word) the gay cruise charters and the cruise ships to NOT go to homophobic ports at all.

  • Spike

    @the crustybastard: My reasoning assumes that countries that I do not live in nor claim citizenship have the sovereign right to pass whatever laws they choose. Last I checked, Lawrence v Texas only applies to the United States, not Canada, not Japan, not Dominica.

    You certainly have every right to consider my reasoning ignorant. How my objection to public sex reflects homophobia puzzling as I would object to two str8t people or two women having sex in public equally, at which point your projection falls apart.

    I find your apologist argument nothing more then a distraction to the fact that two guys chose to fuck on their balcony. 2k+ gays guys did not fuck on their balcony and thus they enjoyed a day of sight seeing as a tourist in Dominica and did not face homophobia, persecution nor arrest.

  • the other Greg

    @the crustybastard: It almost pains me to disagree with “crustybastard,” traditionally one of the best posters here – but, Lawrence v. Texas is a shaky analogy unless someone wishes Dominica were part of the U.S. (I realize that many here would love to just bomb the place!) Like it or not, Dominica is a republic, doesn’t even have QE2 as head of state, it’s on its own with no higher legal authority.

    Yeah, Dominica has homophobic laws and attitudes. But I’d suggest being careful in bringing up Lawrence v. Texas. In other words, Dominica has homophobic laws that parts of the United States still had less than a decade ago, in 2003? Wow, aren’t we advanced! Now we get to lecture the whole fucking world on homophobia!

    But as for a boycott of Atlantis… sure.

  • Mikey

    Um, Norm, I don’t think “these island guests were treated like a black kid wearing a hoodie in Sanford, Florida.” Have you heard what happened to Trayvon?! Also, before Trayvon was SHOT TO DEATH, he wasn’t fucking anybody in public. Very poor analogy.

  • z

    “Dominica criminalized behavior that won’t be criminalized if it were a straight couple”…ammm I, as a Dominican, cannot recall EVER seeing a straight couple fucking for 30 minutes or at all in PUBLIC. It has NEVER happened, so you can’t make that statement. I also don’t really see it ever happening as all people gay and straight generally don’t fuck in public! The exhibitionist guys chose to parade THEMSELVES when they were fucking in public. The guys chose to make a circus of THEMSELVES when they were fucking in public then LIED about not fucking in public when they were seen fucking in public. There is no comparison to trayvon martin who was simply walking down the street being black. being black is not against the law. FUCKING IN PUBLIC IS AGAINST THE LAW. Please do not insult trayvon’s family with this pathetic comparison. FUCKING IN PUBLIC IS AN ARRESTABLE OFFENSE IN AMERICA TOO, SO BAN YOUR OWN FUCKING COUNTRY WHILE YOU’RE AT IT—ps–we Dominicans never had to beg congress for gays to join the military—ammmmm–I wonder which homophobic country did?

  • z

    @the crustybastard: just like there are sodomy laws in YOUR country, there are sodomy laws in Dominica. there are extremely prominent gay people in Dominica male and female—openly gay–they are not persecuted for being gay ever. Sure all sodomy laws should be done away with, but why not get them off your books first before you try to get them off our books? At least we don’t kill people for being black, we don’t try to take women back 100 years and deny them lousy birth control oh and importantly…WE DON’T FUCK IN PUBLIC!

  • Houston Bill

    @z: What about the 35 people arrested for sodomy between 1995 and 2000? Were they all fucking in public? Sounds like that would constitute a remarkable incidence of male on male sexing going on in public for such a small country.

    Being Gay is against the law in Dominica. Full Stop. Just because they don’t arrest everyone, especially that famous Gay Dominican Islander, doesn’t mean they don’t arrest not-famous people for being Gay there.

    And Dominica is insistent that it will not change its’ laws that can be used at any time to arrest any Gay person on Dominica.

  • Kev C

    @z: Public sex does happen in America, and usually it’s a straight couple doing it. We don’t get bent out of shape when it happens either. People actually upload public sex videos to popular internet sites like Facebook or WorldstarHipHop. Jason Russell wasn’t even arrested for his public masturbation, and he has a son! Many people watched his video. And don’t tell me Dominica is an island of puritanical prudes who shield their children’s eyes at Carnival time. But two male tourists doing it on vacation is something to get bent out of shape about, huh?

  • FunMe

    Well said SFGN! Yeah, if the gay did what they were accused of, yeah, they deserves what they go. BUT this does not get Atlantis off the hook. NO MORE should anyone support Rich Campbell’s greedy actions of choosing islands that will endanger his clients, the majority who are gays. If he won’t boycott those HOMOPHOBIC hating countries, then yes, it’s time to boycott Atlantis and Celebrity.

  • Casey

    There is a petition that was just started to Boycott Atlantis Events. Please help us reach 25,000 signatures!|Create a Petition

  • KyleW

    Oh for goodness sakes. To anyone who is so bothered about not stepping upon the soil of any homophobic nation, YOU should be doing the research about which countries to visit, rather than simply deferring that duty to your tour operator.

    I’m sure that there are lots of gay people who would be perfectly happy to go to Dominica, or Russia, or wherever, in spite of their homophobia. Because vacations are not gay issues – because Dominica is a beautiful tropical paradise, and most gay couples might say, “Hell, I can show the restraint not to fuck in public for 48 hours in order to enjoy the spectacular beauty of this country”.

    What pisses me off so much about this case, is the fact that you have two whiny bitches here, who acted selfishly, in a way that would likely get them arrested in their own country, and judging by your recent gay pride hammock arrest story, they could expect no more dignified post arrest treatment. And they have tried to make out like it’s the fault of everyone except them, in spite of the fact that ANY rational person can clearly see that they were 100% in the wrong. And all the little gay martyrs have rushed blindly to support them with stupid boycotts that will damage the business of this cruise company AND the tourist dollar in a poor country. This couple should be publicly flogged, both for their behaviour at the time, and afterwards.

    Americans, you live in a country where heterosexual adults have been arrested and prosecuted for walking around naked in their own houses, behind curtains and fences, so you can shut the hell up about these “dreadful” Dominicans. Fix your own judiciary, outdated attitudes AND your selfish behaviour before pointing the finger.

  • B

    No. 5 · DenverHo wrote, “THE DUDES WERE F*CKING IN PUBLIC… What part of that is okay anywhere outside of The Folsom Street Fair?!”

    It’s not OK at the Folsom Street Fair either, or even at an “edgier,” related event at Dore Alley. Read for details:
    At the suggestion of SFPD, we have implemented a more aggressive graduated policy for violators of the lewdness policy.

    Step 1: Verbal warning
    Inform the fairgoer that the behavior is not allowed and that they will face ejection from the fair on the next occurance.
    Step 2: Reminder
    Fairgoer will be reminded of the first warning and given a personal escort off the fair grounds with notification to gate volunteers not to allow re-entry. Warn the fairgoer that on the next violation of this policy we will escalate to SFPD.
    Step 3: Turn over to SFPD
    SFPD will be called to assist and requested to cite the fairgoer who has violated the lewdness policy.

    Lewd behavior in second and third story windows on the fairgrounds will be referred directly to SFPD for intervention.

    The reason for the crackdown BTW is that some Christian groups were coming in, photographing the most outrageous behavior they could find, and then trying to pass that off as typical of the event as a whole. There is supposedly still a lot of sex that goes on but not on the street. Previously you would have a few guys getting blow jobs on the street, but most people weren’t into doing that in public. Only “new” gays or straight tourists seemed to pay any attention – the rest simply ignored it.

  • z

    @houston bill and kev c: The point is–in OUR country—like YOUR country, public sex is illegal. PERIOD! stop trying to justify it and turn it into some anti gay crap. i don’t know where you got that 35 people were arrested for being gay in Dominica crap because it is crap–absolutely crap it never happened! end of! And as for “in America no one gets arrested for public sex” talk is also crap! I saw on the news where a man got arrested for being seen walking naked in his kitchen in the good old U.S. of A so stop talking crap. America is a big country and where one state may not arrest for indecent exposure another one will. stop with the hypocrisy like your country is so perfect. gays couldn’t even openly serve in the military over there until a few months ago–and that was never an issue for Dominican gays you frigging hypocrites. And frankly what happens in your country is irrelevant. laws are laws and our laws say no public fucking. those two fools were getting off flouting the laws and don’t have the decency to admit to to it and want to play the victim. if we were so homophobic and our laws so anti gay why weren’t the rest of the 2000 people on board arrested? in a real homophobic country those tow perverts would have been stoned to i suggest you shut your asses, respect people’s laws when you travel and not think because you have the yankee dollar you get some privilege–cause you don’t.obviously!! jerk-offs!!

  • z

    @kev c: what do you know about our carnival? we dance and drink and whine but we don’t do it naked and we don’t fuck in public. we just do not. you may be confusing us with rio where women play mas (carnival) topless–but that is not dominica–at all. So again you people need to do some homework before talking. and being against public sex has nothing to do with being holy or puritanical. we just don’t do public sex, because IT IS AGAINST THE LAW! Also what makes you think domincans weren’t laughing and uploading photos of those dumbasses? we laughed at it the same way you described people doing in america. you know why? because they are idiots! you really think dominicans are seriously pissed off at those clowns? we see them as they are–fools and perverts who wanted attention and got it. no one is walking around with pitchforks–we just laugh about how pathetic they are….perhaps you should too instead of turning this into a gay crusade–unless gay rights = the right to fuck in public in broad daylight, stopping to lubricate and then continuing for 30 minutes with an entire town as spectators—are those the rights gays want?

  • B

    No. 18 · z wrote, “@the crustybastard: just like there are sodomy laws in YOUR country, there are sodomy laws in Dominica.”

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sodomy laws are unconstitutional and thus cannot be enforced. Any state or city that tried to enforce them would lose in court and could then be sued for damages.

    Also, the U.N. Human Rights Council has requested that all sodomy laws be repealed, so Dominica is not meeting current international standards.

  • Houston Bill

    @z: I could care less about what some clowns did on the cruise. That’s not my issue. My issue is your laws.

    With regards to your protestations about Dominica’s ….um…..”progressive” thinking on Gays in the Military, can you please produce one scintilla of evidence (e.g., an openly Gay man actually serving) that this is the case there.

    I grew up in Alabama. I know what an anti-Gay environment is. I also know, as an Alabamian, what the IMPACTS of those criminalization statutes are. They go well beyond the arrests of people for private consensual sex between non-related adults. They result in different penalties for breaking the law, as excuses for courts to deny Gay persons due process on civil rights cases, and as justifications for anti-Gay laws. Those statues are used just about everywhere as enabling agreements for discrimination against Gays. They aren’t just about sex. Alabama is much better now. An openly Gay woman now is elected to serve in our legislature. We have pride parades in all of our major cities. There is prejudice, but its changing. And part of that change is the fact that our state institutions can’t just dismiss our concerns with a “yes, I see your point…but…you see…Gay sex is illegal…so I couldn’t possible rule in your favor…on anything”. I also know that Dominica’s anti-Gay laws need to go.

    I also know that Dominica has no intention whatsoever of repealing its discriminatory laws that make all Gay men potential lawbreakers in the eyes of the Dominican Law System.

    That law is a sword of damocles hanging over every Gay person on the island.

    I got the arrest numbers from wikipedia. Your free to challenge the source from them. Otherwise, I have no reason to doubt its’ veracity.


  • Kev C

    @z: The point is that if your government is going to FREAK OUT because of naked tourists, how is the average dominican going to react when they see two clothed men walking down the street holding hands or kissing? Is that a crime in your country too? I can almost guarentee that dominicans won’t like seeing two men kissing in public and will probably react violently. A typical homphobic society.

  • Spike

    @Casey: HA HA HA HA, 25K signatures of gays who have never gone on an Atlantis Cruise nor probably never intended to, btw Casey, how many have you been on prior to signing the petition??? Do share.

    Online petitions are pointless and boycotting Atlantis because two guys were fucking on their balcony in port will be as effective as calling the gays to boycott Victoria’s Secret.

    Note to Casey, you might want to google ‘gay boycott coors’. There are effective gay boycotts and then there are the rest, yours would fall under the rest.

  • Houston Bill

    Seriously Z, if the laws are never to be enforced….then why keep them? And why fight so hard to retain them? That points towards the use of those laws as anti-Gay enabling acts, outside the bounds of mere public sex.

    These laws also give the less sophisticated members of a society the state’s endorsement of discrimination against Gay people. Well if the LAW treats Gay sex differently, then why can’t a person threat people who have Gay sex (even in private) differently?

  • Kev Seasick

    Yeah – gay men can hold hands and kiss in public everywhere in America and nobody freaks out! And straight people can fuck in public in America and go naked all over the place and nobody freaks out about that either! So grow up, you homophobic prudish rasta barbarians!

  • Kev C

    @Kev Seasick: I attract a lot of crazed homophobes, so I don’t like it when people freak out and follow me around. Freaking homophobe troll mofo.

  • Kev Seasick

    @Kev C: “I attract a lot of crazed homophobes,” well how can that be when you live in such a glorious non-homophobic society as the USA? :)

  • the crustybastard

    @the other Greg:

    First, thank you for generally good reviews about my posts. I appreciate it.

    My point wasn’t that Dominica is somehow bound by Lawrence v Texas. It obviously isn’t.

    However, like the Dominica incident, in Lawrence v Texas, a gay couple was observed in flagrante. Like the Dominica incident, that couple was prosecuted under a criminal statute and paid a fine.

    My point is that anyone fixating on the couple’s act to the exclusion of all other legal issues are applying the same faulty reasoning that Texas made in Lawrence case: “b-b-but they were having illegal sex!!”

    Yeah they were. But there are bigger issues at play.

    “Dominica has homophobic laws that parts of the United States still had less than a decade ago, in 2003? Wow, aren’t we advanced! Now we get to lecture the whole fucking world on homophobia!”

    If you concede that Dominica has homophobic legal system, why do then do you suggest that Americans have no business making that point? There is still racism in the US, but I certainly would complain about a tourist destination that criminally prosecutes one race of tourists for something that it ignores when a different race does the same thing.

    And I sure as fuck wouldn’t go there.

  • James Hill

    Does anyone have any idea how huge these ships are and how are out from any establishment or place where people gather when docked? It’s pretty difficult to see anything from shore, and they inferred what they were doing from their general positions, but couldn’t likely make out anything at all.

    Basically, the police on the dock were looking for it and found what they were looking for. If you stand across the street from a hotel and stare at the windows for hours, you will probably see someone having sex. The Dominica police were looking for it, because they knew what to expect from an Atlantis cruise.

    The problem here is Atlantis supporting a backwards government and exposing their passengers to unnecessary risks.

  • Houston Bill

    @Spike: I’ve been to 4 Atlantis Events. I have paid for 7 Atlantis Events (partners and friends of me going with me on these cruises). This Sunday I spoke with a buddy of mine and four other people at brunch. We didn’t dwell on it, just a quick 3 minute conversation. I simply said that “Hey xxx..saw your FB post on Atlantis (on his personal page)…totally agree with it”. We then had a 3 minute conversation around the table. He’s been on 3 cruises (with his partner). The other 2 people at the table were horrified too (they’d been on 6 cruises with each other – 12 cruises). So at one table were about 30,000 bucks worth of previous Atlantis customers. To be honest, I was shocked at the fact that one of them had even heard about it or would it would even bother them (hes NOT political). Also, as an ex-Atlantis cruiser, I personally know some of the people criticizing Atlantis on the FB page. Some of them have a LOT of cruises under their belt.

    Does Atlantis owe me or anyone else anything as a result of the fact that I’m a past customer? No. Do they have to earn my or others’ patronage in the future in order to receive it? Yes. For many of us, LGBT rights are far more important than some cruise. If we see a conflict between the two, we’re not going to choose Atlantis. It’d be good for others to understand that.

    Its not just the fact that Atlantis went to these places, but is so ridiculously arrogant IMHO about returning to anti-Gay nations. They’ve completely dismissed our concerns as far as I can tell.

    We have a point about not going to nations that criminalize Gay people, Spike. You might not agree with it, but it is a valid point (which you and others can disagree with, if you’d like). Atlantis would do well to acknowledge that we actually do have a point and try to come to terms with it or at least address it. I know, for some people, Atlantis is their life. Thats all they do on vacation. They’ve invested so much into that company that they aren’t going to walk away or criticize, no matter how indifferent Atlantis is to the concerns of the LGBT community. But if that’s your bubble understand that there is a whole wide world outside of it. And many of Atlantis’ patrons don’t live completely inside it.

    If there is a REASON why Atlantis has to dock at an anti-Gay country, tell us. I get it, for example if you are on a European Cruise, you might have to stop at a non-EU nation.
    If there’s an extra cost to breaking a cruise ship schedule, ask on their website how much would they be willing to pay extra to break that schedule? If they have to go to a non-EU nation in order to keep the flag of the boat foriegn (e.g., wage and other law exemptions), tell people. Its not a national secret, guys. If you COMMUNICATE, it works better for everyone. Not ignore the issue. I seriously doubt that they can’t break the cruise schedule while chartering the whole boat.

    Don’t worry, Atlantis isn’t going to go under with this. We’re just letting our ‘primiere Gay cruise company’ that we don’t agree with them and expression our frustration with this situation in our community. And that we resent the company we’ve spent literally thousands of dollars patronizing ignoring our concerns and what we perceive to be the concerns of our community worldwide. Its not just me.

    Its called PR management. Atlantis might wish to consider doing some of that. Here’s what I would do.

    1) Diversity – I’m talking about diversity of OPINION here – It would probably be a good idea to have someone at Atlantis talk to someone, preferably not a fawning fan, at a real international LGBT human rights group (and no-the Human Rights Campaign doesn’t count-they’re not involved internationally) to get their views on each of the potential stops. Not a party boy. Someone who actually is involved with the fight and has credentials. I’m sure there are any number of people who are willing to dispassionately and rationaly explain the merits/demerits of going to a nation. Just because Atlantis has been there before and all the people with a financial interest in their return say nice things, is probably not a good way to get an unvarnished opinion (which I hope isn’t how they’ve gleaned some of their opinions) btw. Should they get a veto over their decisions? No. But at least Atlantis wouldn’t be shocked at the blowback and don’t make bad situations worse by making IMHO grossly insensitive comments because they don’t understand what people are complaining about.
    2) Communicate – tell people why you’re going where you;re going. See above.

    3) Address the issues – Don’t ignore these anti-Gay nations behavior even if you go there. Publically address the issue. Think about mitigation issues that the company could take to make any patronage of those nations more palatable to those who disagree. There could be a win-win in this. But its not going to happen until people are actually talking and listening.

    4) Accept that there will be criticism and respond responsibly to it. You’re not going to please everybody. But you can try to please some people. Seriously, I would think that a company of Atlantis’ stature would have a PR guidebook with statements ready when different potential events come up…e.g, drug bust, death on board, anti-gay violence against clients, arrest in anti-gay port, virus on the ship, etc. so they would be able to address the issue properly. I would have them in nice little folders on a computer so that they could be reviewed quickly. I still don’t think Atlantis has actually addressed the issue about docking in anti-Gay countries. Sure most of this will die down eventually. But lots of people will remember this.

    5) Consider apologizing for their scheduling in the past and making a commitment to try to avoid such nations in the future. That’s their decision, but again, communicate why they are making that decision. Not everyone is going to agree with it. But at least someone is making an effort to communicate.

    6) Attempt to preempt criticism from other LGBT stakeholders by reaching out to them. Needless to say, those stakeholders go beyond the owners of Gay bars and the opinions of the cruisers that are close to the management. All Out (I’m not active with them) has over 900,000 people signed up to protest the new law in St Petersburg. Ever heard of them? Atlantis is going to break their boycott call. What do you think their opinion of Atlantis is? But I bet more Atlantis cruisers than you realize are part of that 900,000. They aren’t the only large group that’s been outraged by whats going on in Russia. Theyve invested money blood sweat and tears into this fight in Russia. They’ve just been kicked in the teeth by the Russian government. And now someone in the Gay community (of all people) is running over their agenda. They have members and they have board members. Is it really a good idea to run all over their agendas without at least reaching out to some of them? Again, communication is key.

    Spike, just so you understand our criticisms. Atlantis can walk this back somewhat and try to prevent this from happening in the future. But its up to them.

    This isn’t about some guys who acted like clowns on a cruise. This is about the discrimination that LGBT people face outside the developed world. And how some organizations within the Gay communities are responding to that challenge. Understand that there are a LOT of people who are trying to change things and a LOT more that are aware of the problem.

    By the way, I think the Russia is generating a lot more resentment than the Dominica issue. But the reflexive ‘of course well go back’ from Atlantis didn’t help.


  • Josh

    What the FUCK, did he just compare them to Trayvon Martin? I’m not even black and I’m beyond offended. They got fined and arrested, not MURDERED.

    Also, they were BREAKING THE LAW of the country they were docked in. You break the law, you get punished.

  • z

    @James Hill: hey james hill—maybe you can answer your own question–you are right, if it was that far out they could not have seen anything- meaning–duh—it was NOT that far out! i am dominican and i spoke to many witnesses who saw them clearly having sex for over thirty minutes even as crowds gathered pointed and stared—those people THEN called the police. they were VISIBLY FUCKING! do you really think those dumbasses are so important that the police would be standing there waiting and expecting gay seX? please with your self importance. it is a ship that docked like scores before and after who gives a fuck. what makes you think this ship was so special? some of you are so deluded with self importance! we have gays here too. you think your gays have magical anus? if they wanted to arrest some gays for being gay they could have just picked any of the thousands of passengers who where on land. if we are backward for arresting for public sex then every country in the world is backwards including yours. funny all this talk about prejudice and discrimination and so many of you on here seem to be just that…smh! public sex=illegal! they broke the law–accept it!

  • z

    @Houston Bill: seriously bill–who told you we are “fighting” to retain those laws? that issue is barely discussed.and if the laws were that important why do you think they were not prosecuted under that law? if we really hate gays the easiest thing would have been to charge under the buggery act– and why do you retain those laws on your books? and when do u acknowledge that they were charged for public fucking and not for being gay? I mean who the fuck does that? barbarians that’s who! the sick part is that despite getting off with just a slap on the wrist those disgusting liars are out vilifying an entire nation instead of apologizing for their disgusting behavior. why don’t they go on the lawn of the white house and public fuck and see how much the rest of America ignores them or thinks “how lovely”–hypocrites!!

  • z

    @Houston Bill: yes the law is archaic–but the issue is that these men weren’t just clowns they broke a standard universal law. no public nudity and no public fucking–it is that simple. if you want to ban travel to all countries unfriendly to gays, on a technical level, hmmm that leaves you sweeden and maybe toronto. that’s it! here’s a suggestion: maybe you should keep you silly sex party cruises, but try not to act like a freak when docked in other countries. that way people would be less willing to [wrongly] label american gay men as perverts and freaks!

  • z

    @Kev C: they did not react to two naked men —they reacted to two naked men PUBLICLY fucking. in any event public nudity is against the law. stop acting like that is no big deal because as several people pointed out on this very page, people have been arrested in your country for being naked in their own homes behind bushes and fences. i have visited several countries in my lifetime and the first thing i do is learn their customs and practices no matter how big or how inconsequential. so if you don’t want to do that as an almighty american who thinks perhaps the world is your oyster then go ahead and fuck in public on foreign soil–then accept the consequences.

  • Kev C

    @z: I don’t have a problem obeying laws in my country or while visiting another country. Many people who visit America don’t obey our laws either. Drug dealers from the Caribbean for example. And we’re used to people who hate America coming here and showing how much they hate America. Learning local customs is fine, but any country that forces gays to live in the closet is discriminatory and should go fuck itself.

    One day, rich gays will buy your entire island and install a new government and turn it into a gay paradise. So I suggest you get used to seeing gay men being romantic.

  • Auntie Mame

    @WillBFair: Did you even read the article?

  • Auntie Mame

    @MarkG: Sure. Because straight people never have sex in public. What planet do you live on?

  • Auntie Mame

    Most commenters on this website prove that gays should be arrested.

  • Danny

    Well, if you violate people’s human rights you get punished. Dominica (pop. 70,000) is violating the human rights of gay family members. Since there are easily 300 million gay people plus at least 600 million parents of gay people and 1.2 billion grandparents of those gay people, Dominica is violating the human rights of 2.1 billion family members at a minimum (that’s not even including siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, children of gay people). According to majority rules, Dominica should be brought to an end – as should all governments that violate human rights. Since all the politicians and religious leaders on the planet do not outnumber these families, obviously these families should vote on what the fate of politicians and religious leaders who violate their human rights. Rightwing human rights violators only want votes when they think they are in the majority and when the vote is on other people’s human rights rather than their own. It is utter hypocrisy that can swiftly be rectified when gay people and their families grow tired of it all.

  • Tim

    I agree with the sentiment of the editorial, but it doesn’t help his case to use words like “socially retarded” and “moron” then make parallels with Trayvon Martin. I can’t believe this guy is a lawyer!

  • the other Greg

    Here’s a suggestion for Atlantis (and the publisher of the South Florida Gay News) – why doesn’t Atlantis stay closer to home and visit the beautiful, gay-friendly seaports of Pensacola Florida, Corpus Christi Texas, Charleston SC, Biloxi Mississippi, and Mobile Alabama? Encourage the passengers to frolic naked on the balconies, and copulate in view of the simple warm-hearted townsfolk. They won’t mind.

  • Auntie Mame

    @the other Greg: I live in Pensacola. Please don’t bring these floating bath houses here. We have normal gay people here. We don’t need the Ship of Mess visiting us.

  • Danny

    You can tell the rightwing posers among the posters because they don’t want to deal with Dominica violating the human rights of gay people, regardless of the cruise ship incident. They only want to focus on the sex in public aspect. It’s like the rightwing posters who try to foment racial strife on Queerty; they are just posers and trolls.

  • the other Greg

    @Danny: The U.S. itself had many of Dominica’s anti-gay laws only recently. As has been pointed out, the U.S. Supreme Court only stuck down state sodomy laws LESS THAN TEN YEARS AGO.

    I’m not a right-winger, I’m a liberal and live in a very “blue” state. On this issue the class divide is easy to see and it’s pretty obvious that the most rabid anti-Dominica posters here are racists who hide behind sanctimonious faux-outrage that a tiny majority-black country (i.e. not a “real” country) still has some hoary anti-gay laws that we Americans just recently abolished ourselves.

    Anyone who says, as you just did, that “Dominica should be brought to an end” (!!!! – how, exactly? – oh lemme guess, bomb them?) probably has serious racial problems. We’ve been treated to lot of such language in the Queerty comments to this drama – “Dominica should be turned into a parking lot,” “backwards shithole,” “rasta barbarians” (that’s our pal Kev C) etc. Hey guys, why not just use the N-word and get it over with.

    But Danny, I love your naive certitude that all the 600 hundred million parents and 1.2 billion grandparents of gay people must inevitably be pro-gay themselves! Isn’t math fun? In reality, a lot of those relatives are part of the problem.

    Getting rid of anti-gay laws is great – and maybe a boycott (of Atlantis &/or Dominica) will help – but after the laws changed in the U.S. the attitudes haven’t always followed. Or at least, there is a time lag.

    So what’s worse, (a) getting arrested someplace under some specifically anti-gay law, or (b) getting beaten up (or murdered) for being gay? As someone who has been thru (b) several times (the beaten up part, not the murdered part) but never experienced (a), I’d say that (a) doesn’t look all THAT bad to me, comparatively! After all, the guys in question paid a fine, spent one night in jail and were sent home – boo hoo fucking hoo. And last time I checked, beating up anyone (even a gay person) was/is a crime pretty much everywhere, yet it still goes on.

  • Spike

    @the other Greg: Newsflash, Atlantis is not a cruise line, it’s a gay travel oriented company that charters ships owned by cruise lines as well as resorts. The reason why cruise ships sail between US ports has everything to do with the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 (PVSA), which effectively bars cruise ships from sailing between American cities.

    As for your mention of “gay-friendly seaports of Pensacola Florida, Corpus Christi Texas, Charleston SC, Biloxi Mississippi, and Mobile Alabama”, that was a joke right? Seriously, Mobile?

  • [email protected]

    Maybe Atlantis could switch cruises to NE Africa. Every coastal country is anti-LGBT, but you could also have the adventure of seeing whether or not your cruise liner is going to be highjacked by Somali pirates. What a story you could tell your friends when you get back after a year (if you are lucky) and your family has paid a million dollar ransom.

  • Houston Bill

    @the other Greg: LOL. No one lives within sight of the cruise port in Mobile. Pensacola Corpus and the Mississippi coast don’t have cruise ship docks. Trust me, the people in Mobile want the cruise ships so badly to cover their massive investment in the terminal they built (and is empty) that they’d probably allow just about anything to get the ships to return.

    But if your point is that Pensacola, Biloxi or Mobile are just as bad as Dominica, you are mistaken. Pensacola hosts the largest LGBT tourism event in the USA every year. Locals call it “the big convention”. There are some crazy people (largely not from P’cola – they are from a ‘Christian College’ that makes Bob Jones look liberal) who protest it every year. But even in Pensacola, there are hundreds of straight Pensacolans who go out an protest the anti-Gay protesters.

  • the other Greg

    @Spike: Yes, that was a joke. Duh.

    @[email protected]: That’s the spirit!

  • the other Greg

    @Houston Bill: Glad to hear about Pensacola.

  • Kev C

    @the other Greg: “Gamepro”, the rasta-barbarian was threatenting to attack gays with “bottles and stones”. But I’m the bad guy, huh? Liberal apologist making excuses for homophobes disgust me.

  • the other Greg

    @Kev C: Gamepro’s post says “… feel free to try it in the public where “Bottles and Stones” are in sight.” By “it” he means fucking in public, referring to the two “clowns” specifically.

    Considering the racist Queerty posters who’ve called for bombing Dominica (including any unlucky gay people actually stuck living there), end its existence as an independent nation, etc. etc., Gamepro seems rather restrained.

    This shows how your well-meaning focus on LAWS is quite a bit different from the real world. Throwing bottles and stones at anyone (even gay people) is illegal right now even in Dominica.

    And yet, if the anti-gay laws of Dominica changed to be as pro-gay as anywhere else in the world, and two gay guys got naked & tried to fuck in the middle of “traffic” as he suggests, would bottles & stones still get thrown at them? Yeah, and the same thing would happen in most parts of the U.S.

    All thru this drama I’ve found it kind of weird how so many readers focus on the supposedly inalienable right to hold hands in public, as a defining feature of an “anti-gay” or “gay-friendly” place. Well come on, there are plenty of areas of Boston and New York where my boyfriend & I would be scared to hold hands in public. And yet there is no LAW against it. No policeman would arrest us nowadays (well not in Boston anyway, maybe in New York, you never know!) but governmental action is not the fear in that case.

    Anyway, thanks for disproving Danny’s theory above (#51). Maybe you and Danny can both send your resumes to the United Nations for the new position of U.N. Commissioner for Ending the Existence of Independent Countries. I think the short term for that is “re-colonization.”

  • Spike

    HA HA HA – And now that a picture of the two fucking on the balcony has been revealed, makes this publisher and everyone else who have been defending these two guys, who clearly lied as to what they were doing, look like a bunch of fools.

    Own it you fools!

  • Jorge Cruz

    I agree with the boycott because it is the only thing that may get Rich Campbells attention. For years he has made “unexpected” itinerary changes to cruises after refunds are not available. He changes to a stop- grand cayman, dominica etc. Irregardless of how many picketers and haters will be waiting for us to get off the ship. And everybody knows it is all about the cheaper fees. Too bad he owns RSVP too because we really have limited options. Sacrificing one gay cruise is a small price to pay if it gets Atlantis to stop selling out its guests for another buck in Rich Campbells pocket.

  • Kev C

    @the other Greg: “Gamepro seems rather restrained.”

    Pro-homophobe liberal apoligist indeed. But you aren’t going to earn any liberal Brownie points from Politburo Central by attacking me, comrade Other Greg.

  • Danny

    @the other greg: you are funny. You assign permanance to entirely arbitrary things. What a myopic view of the planet and its history. You also are not very creative.

  • asw

    Dominica is country of approximately 70,000 people and close to 70% of them are at least nominally Catholic with and the rest mostly evangelicals, and If you want to boycott something why not start with churches. It was religious fanatics from America that promoted the gay death penalty in Uganda. It is Catholics and Fundamentalists that are out front in the states against gay marriage. Muslims sharia law is not very kind to gays either,for that matter. There are one hell of a lot of ports of call in countries with anti-sodomy laws. And no port on earth, I know of, that will welcome you naked and fucking in what is a very public place. If you have never been to the port of Roseau, cruise ships loom over the tiny antique bay front and those balconies are like little stages. I guess those guys wanted to put on a show, knowing full well that Dominica has on its books anti-sodomy laws, and that the locals would find what they were doing was outrageous and repugnant. Maybe they thought they were safe on the ship. They got what they would have gotten in the states. If they were doing the same thing in my little home town in PA, USA, they would be in jail too and liable to pay some sort of fine for indecent exposure and being a public nuisance. If we want these laws to disappear in other countries as they have,not so very long ago, in the US, put a responsible face on it and let people get to know you as a human being not an in your face homo fuck machine.

  • Dave SF

    I’ve been on an Atlantis cruise that stopped in Dominica. Atlantis goes out of their way to educate everyone, before docking in Dominica, that it is a conservative country and that people should behave appropriately. This information is made available several times, and I think it would be hard for anyone on the cruise to miss hearing it at least once.

    The two gentleman that were arrested have no valid complaint, in my book. I’d like to believe that they’d have been arrested just as readily in San Francisco, if they were having sex on their balcony in full view of anyone walking by on the dock. To suggest that they “thought it was okay” is ridiculous. That wouldn’t be okay anywhere.

    Of course, the jails in a little country like Dominica are not going to be very nice. What do you expect?

    The idea that Atlantis shouldn’t travel to any but the most gay-friendly of destinations is ridiculous. I know I’m not the only one who enjoys going to many sorts of places, including those where our presence may be a curiosity. We have the opportunity, in those cases, to be ambassadors for the gay community, and to show people with little exposure to homosexuality that they have nothing to fear from it. Our very presence can help encourage greater acceptance of gays and lesbians long after we are gone. It can also do just the opposite, when idiots like these two yahoos decide to give the locals a live sex show.

    I think they were damned lucky to get off with only a day in jail and a $900 fine.

  • the other Greg

    @Kev C: He wasn’t calling for attacking random gay people for being gay. He was referring to a hypothetical situation, IF the Atlantis couple were fucking in the middle of traffic. Not much chance of that situation really happening. (And judging from the new photo, a few bottles might have been what it would have taken to interrupt those two.)

    Restrained, compared to wanting to bomb/kill 70,000 people (including some gay people) in order to turn the country into a parking lot? Uh… yeah.

  • Big

    Why does Greg keep mentioning violence when no one else has. He presumes a lot. Is he a savage troll or what? He appears one of those people who assigns his own thoughts to others when he cannot argue coherently.

  • the other Greg

    @Big: Comments on previous articles on the subject – certain people were ready to bomb the place. You can look it up.

  • z

    @Kev C: “i suggest you get used to gay men being romantic”

    well. there is nothing to get used to. i am very used to it. in fact my first cousin is gay. he’s married to his partner. they visited dominica, barbados, grenada, st lucia and even jamaica and were very romantic BUT they DID NOT FUCK IN PUBLIC. that would have gotten them arrested in all of those countries including yours. see the difference?

    you mentioned that people from the Caribbean have broken american laws in america–granted–i agree–i’m sure you also know that they were ARRESTED when they did. so expect your dumb asses to be arrested when you break our laws. clearly those two clowns felt that they were above the law and should not have been jailed. they even seem to have expected better prison conditions than locals.

    your prejudice against the Caribbean is very obvious by the way, as it is with a lot of people on this board. there is a lot of racism,cultural ism and class-ism expressed on here. how shocking for people who pretend to advocate against discrimination.

  • JuanC

    So, we go to countries that tend to be homophobic. I drive through areas like that in our very own country. I’ve been stationed in places that are much like Dominica. All we need to do is to be careful of what we do, when we do it, and where we do it. At the same time, Atlantis should do a better job of explaining the type of countries we are visiting (not even the CIA website gives warnings of anti-gay countries). These guys should have known better. BTW, the excursion group I was with had a great time with our guide and driver. Not everyone on the island is homophobic.

  • KyleW

    @JuanC: Anti-gay countries? If you’re going to start expecting warnings for that, how about countries that are anti-women? Anti-black? Anti-American? The latter would be a far longer list. I’m not even having a go at Americans, but incidents like this speak for themselves.

    Do you people need someone to wipe your arses and do all your thinking for you?

  • jimmy

    this couple is at fault learn to respect the laws of other countries. Some gays wonder why we get a bad name

  • skjlaw

    There are so many stupid gay people that it makes my head hurt. The issue is not that these guys should not have had public sex, I think most of us can agree that is illegal in most places, maybe even the Netherlands. The issue is why does a gay cruise operated by gay people for gay people go to places like Dominica where there are sodomy laws and where a lynch mob wanted to kill these men on their way to court? Let’s all sign up for the Uganda safari next, I can’t wait for that.


  • skjlaw

    Yes I think we should all sign up for that Uganda safari. Yes indeed anywhere you go gay people may not be entirely welcomed by everyone but some places are better than others. Why not cruise to Caribbean islands where maybe a mob will not form that wants to kill the sodomites?


  • skjlaw

    No the problem is that the uppity homos visited an island where they hate gay people. I have no earthly idea why a gay cruise would choose to sstop in Dominica.

    @Kev Seasick (typical Queerty poster):

  • Terry

    The two flouted the laws, no matter how nonsensical it was and got off easy. Boycotting Atlantis isn’t going to make the two any less stupid.

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