Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rocking the Boat

The Associated Press reported that two men were arrested yesterday on a cruise ship docked at the Caribbean island of Dominica after someone on the dock saw them having sex.

My idea of an outdoor carnal experience on a cruise ship is sitting in a deckchair with chocolate mousse in one hand, ├ęclairs in the other and Baked Alaska on my lap.  But that's me.

This was a gay cruise, organized by gay travel company Atlantis Events.  Sex between two men is illegal on Dominica.  The duo in question, Californians John Robert Hart and Dennis Jay Mayer, were arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure and "buggery."

They spent the night in jail, which I'm sure was not on their itinerary.  I'm also sure there was no Baked Alaska.

The men were scheduled to appear before a magistrate this morning; they could be fined about $400 each and face up to six months in jail.  And they won't be seeing the island of St. Barts, as their ship, the Celebrity Summit, left without them.  Does travel insurance cover this kind of thing?

The president of Atlantis Events, Rich Campbell, who was aboard the cruise, said the charges are misdemeanors and he expected the men to be released today.

"Many countries and municipalities that gay men visit and live in have antiquated laws on their books," he said. "These statutes don't pose a concern to us in planning a tourist visit."

If the magistrate read that, Hart and Mayer may be sentenced to life.

Campbell noted, "The guests' actions were unfortunate but minor in this case and have no bearing on our overall guest experience."  So keep throwing your money our way, you boys who want to sail with other boys.

The question to me is whether a straight couple would've been arrested under Dominica's indecent exposure law.  Do local authorities charge up the gangplank when someone on the dock spots a pair of heteros frolicking on the Promenade Deck under the Caribbean sun?