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Here’s Not Looking At You Kid. Casablanca Revoks Gay Cruise’s Docking Permit

Earlier in the year we posted a story about a gay couple who were arrested aboard an Atlantis Cruise Line that was docked at the Caribbean island of Dominica of  for having gay sex. (In Dominica anyone caught perpetrating an act of gross indecency can be punished with imprisonment of up to 5 years,  anal sex with a prison sentence of up to 10 years, or  internment in a mental asylum.)

And while many in the LGBT community blamed the couple. (Because gay sex is dirty and secret you know and the guys were having it in public so it served them right.) Few came forward besides Back2Stonewall.com to call out the country of Dominica itself for having anti-homosexuality laws punishable by prison.  But most importantly we called out Atlantis Cruise Lines for docking in homophobic countries with a floating city of horny gay men because they are “cheap” ports of call to make a few bucks.

Now we have the city of Casablanca in the anti-gay country of Morocco revoking the docking privileges of the  MS Nieuw Amsterdam, an all-gay Mediterranean cruise organized by RSVP Vacations and  Holland America because she’s full of gays.

While the  Moroccan tourist ministry denies that being a gay cruise had anything to do with it many wonder why it was cancelled at the last minute.

From Reuters:

Morocco’s Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad said no official decision had been  made to prevent the ship from stopping in Morocco.

“We don’t ban cruise ships here and we never ask our visitors about their  sexual preferences,” he told Reuters. Asked if the MS Nieuw Amsterdam could  still visit Morocco, he said: “They can if the organisers want  to”.

But the REAL question is why would RSVP Vacations and  Holland America potentially put the lives of two thousand gay men in danger by docking in Casablanca, where where Islam same-sex sexual activity is illegal and can be punished with anything from 6 months to 3 years imprisonment?

As long as there are laws to persecute gay people in that country the  cruise/travel industry should NEVER be offering gay tours to such places.  And it is grossly irresponsible for them to do so unless they can 100 percent guarantee the safety of their gay passengers.

It doesn’t matter how beautiful of exotic the destination is, what matters is that these places should be avoided and should never benefit financially or otherwise from the gay community.  The gay world  yields a lot of big money and that money should never be used to support or help  anyone or any place that would put us in harm’s way.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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2 thoughts on “Here’s Not Looking At You Kid. Casablanca Revoks Gay Cruise’s Docking Permit”

  1. I was one of the people in the community that is of the opinion that what the gay couple did on the Doninica Cruise was wrong on their part. Not because gay sex is dirty of secret as you have stated but, because other people gay, straight, whatever, have the right to walk out in a public place with out seeing any couple, gay or straight having penetrative sex. Its not like this couple was holding hands or casually give a kiss, they were fucking on the balcony while docked, in broad daylight, in front of anyone who walked by! If caught doimg that in the US they would be punished too. Although, I personally have very progressive views about sex, many do not. If you want respect you have to give it, and that action most definitely did not show respect to anyone on that dock.

    As far as traveling to countries whom have anti-gay policies and laws…. I suppose that would narrow down the countries that the LGBT community could visit to a handful including their home countries. Don’t put the United States on the itinerary because we aren’t exactly smelling like roses over here either.

    Furthermore, as an American, I can choose for myself where I would like to vacation. Companies like RSVP and Atlantis are business’ providing a service. If there were not enough people in the LGBT community requesting these destinations then I’m sure they would, in turn, no longer have the initiative to offer them.

    This is not like boycotting a soda company or a car manufacturer. I feel our power here is our visibility. Each of these cruises flood the cities with, in general, articulate, well behaved, financially secure people from our community. These people visit the shops, restaurants, gay bars, landmarks, etc, and while doing so, they are rubbing elbows with the locals. Reinforcing or chipping away at their opinions of the LGBT people. Often in ways that the local LGBT community could never get the opportunity to do. IMHO, we may inadvertently be helping the local gay communities when we visit. It’s not like our one cruise to that destination every year is making or breaking the countries bank.

    I have been on 10+ RSVP/Atlantis cruises and up to this point, I have never had or heard of someone on our cruises being mistreated or assaulted by a local while at a city we have visited. It’s sad to say, but I have felt more uncomfortable visiting areas of my own country (USA), because I am an out gay man than any place I’ve ever visited while on vacation with RSVP and Atlantis. And no company can offer a 100% guarantee of safety for any of their passengers, gay or otherwise.

What do you think?

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