Today’s Editorial for January 22 2010: Gay cruise brings a different story

Given the controversial history of
gay cruises visiting Cayman, it was noteworthy that yesterday’s visit of Liberty of the Seas –
billed as “the world’s largest all-gay cruise” – came and went with little
notoriety on shore.

The news element of this visit of a
gay cruise ship happened on board, where the dead body of a man was found.

Back on shore, there were no
letters to the editor about the visit of the gay cruise, no protesters and the
only signs being held by people were the ones by tour operators offering excursions.

The Caymanian Compass sent reporters into George Town yesterday to see what was happening.
What they found were cruisers walking around town shopping; cruisers heading
off for Stingray City;
and cruisers hopping on shuttles to Seven
Mile Beach. 

In other words, they found tourists
doing tourist things, just like any other day when cruise ships are in
port. 

This reaction by Cayman residents
is a marked difference to what occurred when a gay cruise came to port in
January 2006, when protesters and supporters met the visitors in front of the
cruise terminal and the scene was front-page news. This time, there was no
scene on shore.

There could be many reasons why
Cayman’s reaction to gay cruisers has changed so markedly in so short a
time.  There has been a lot of dialogue
on the issue of homosexuality since 2006 and maybe the lack of reaction signals
a more tolerant Cayman society that is accepting the tenet of live and let
live. 

Cayman residents also have many
other things on their minds these days; there’s the crime issue, the cost of
living issue, and the issue of a stagnant local economy.   Certainly, the last thing business owners
want to do is chase away good spending customers, whether they’re spending
greenbacks or pink dollars.

Whatever the reason, the gay
cruisers who came to shore Thursday got exactly what they wanted: to be left
alone to enjoy the beauty and pleasures of the Cayman
Islands, just like other tourists.

It’s just a shame the visit had to
be marred by the discovery of a dead man on board.

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