Today’s Editorial – Gay cruise issue on again

The official all-gay cruise organisers’ boycott of the Cayman Islands is still on.

But it hasn’t kept gay and lesbian groups from cruising to George Town.

In fact, it has been learned that such a cruise is planned for early November.

No doubt the flames of the familiar debate over whether to allow gays and lesbians on the islands of this country are about to be fanned.

Proponents have on their side the cold hard facts and figures – it is estimated that gays and lesbians spend $54.1 billion annually on travel, much more than their mainstream counterparts.

But it’s also a debate about discrimination.

An entire industry has been built around cruise ships and luring cruisers to the Cayman Islands has been, in itself, a debate of day trippers vs. stay-over guests.

But the whole purpose of cruise ships coming into a port is for that country to make money.

Cruise tourism to the Cayman Islands has been building and distributing immediate benefits to waterfront businesses, taxi operators, tourism attraction sites and government coffers through head taxes.

That money is spent whether the cruisers are gay, lesbian or heterosexual.

Much will be heard from those who oppose gay and lesbian cruisers based on either moral or religious grounds, or both.

It appears everyone has an opinion on the issue of gay cruisers to the Cayman Islands.

Maybe it is time for open, public discussion about this issue that inflames so many on both sides of the coin; not a shouting debate, but good, open discourse.

It is a fact that gay and lesbian cruise ship travellers have, do and will continue to enjoy the beauty and hospitality of the Cayman Islands.

All visitors to these islands are expected to show decorum and good manners while visiting these shores.

All should be properly attired and there should be no flagrant, public displays of affection or inappropriate action.

George Town, after all, is where the economic machine of this country is run. Decorum is expected and demanded.

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