CMA against gay cruise

The Cayman Ministers’ Association is speaking out against a gay cruise promoting itself as being specifically homosexual.

The ship is scheduled to visit Grand Cayman next Tuesday.

‘The Cayman Ministers’ Association remains opposed to the arrival of a cruise that promotes itself as gay,’ Chairman Pastor Al Ebanks asserted this week to the Caymanian Compass.

Gay tour operator Atlantis Events is returning to Grand Cayman next Tuesday with a gay cruise called, ‘The Largest Gay Cruise in History II’ on board the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas.

Up to 3,200 cruise passengers are expected to disembark in Grand Cayman, if it is at full capacity

The Port Authority confirmed that the ship has been approved to dock in Grand Cayman for the day and that in 2001 the Ministry of Tourism had implemented a policy of non-discrimination to all who seek to come here.

Pastor Al continued, ‘While the Government has a no discrimination policy and we believe that people have the right to do whatever they want in accordance with the law, as a society we have a responsibility to our citizens to promote certain behaviours and to not promote certain others,’ he said.

He said the Church has always opposed the active promotion of homosexuality as a lifestyle, and it remains opposed to it.

Pastor Al said that if there was a ship full of people coming promoting themselves as tourists then he does not believe there would be a problem with it, but as it is actively promoting itself as a homosexual cruise it is promoting a homosexual agenda, he said.

When asked if the CMA will be drawing up a petition against the ship coming here, Pastor Al said the organization is keeping all options open.

‘We have expressed our concerns to the Government and our position has not changed. We’re opposed to a gay cruise coming here when it promotes an active homosexual agenda,’ he said.

Pastor Steve Blair also voiced concern.

‘I do have a problem with a gay cruise coming, and I also have a problem with adultery and things like that that people here stay silent on.’

According to the Port Authority’s schedule, the ship is to arrive at 11am and depart at 6pm.

The issue of gay cruises visiting the Cayman Islands has generated great controversy in previous years. In 1998, there were protests from the gay community when the Government refused to allow a gay cruise ship on board Norwegian Cruise Line carrying 900 passengers to dock. In fact, the Legislative Assembly, which was in session at the time, was even interrupted because of the controversy.

Tourism Minister at the time Thomas C. Jefferson had stated: “Careful research and prior experience has led us to conclude that we cannot count on this group to uphold the standards of appropriate behaviour expected of visitors to the Cayman Islands, so we regrettably cannot offer our hospitality.”

Grand Cayman is listed as the second stop on ‘The Largest Gay Cruise in History II’ which is scheduled to depart from Miami on 28 January through 4 February.

It is one of seven cruise ships that are scheduled to call on Grand Cayman on 31 January.

A press statement from the Ministry of Tourism on the Government’s policy with regard to gay cruises had not been issued by press time.