So today's the big day... The Navigator of the Seas floats in to port and 3000 or so patrons will sashay down the the gangplank and set off for a lovely day of sightseeing, playing with stingrays, watching the turtles at the new Turtle Farm, snorkelling the barrier reef, drinking
beer, fruity umbrella drinks, shopping in the duty free stores, taking pictures with Big Black Dick the pirate and leaving again late this afternoon taking with them a day of wonderful memories and a few gigabyts of digital photos.
SO what's the big deal then? Why does this particular boat get more attention than any of the other hundred or so ships that come into port here each month? Get this... it's because it's a Gay & Lesbian charter!
NO! SAY IT AINT SO! NOT IN CAYMAN! Isn't that the country who turned away a ship full of 'em back in 1998? Yup. Same place. There was another one that was supposed to dock here last year January, but the numbers weren't high enough and the charter fell through, so Cayman was “spared” having to go through it again. Not that it stopped the usual suspects from writing letters to the editors of the two local papers and sparking a shitstorm of debate for a week or two, until it was forgotten and they moved on to something else to complain about.
In 2001, the Gov't passed a non-discrimination law, so that when this came around again, there was nothing to stop it. Gays & lesbians are officially welcome in the Cayman Islands. ACTUALLY welcome is another story though. There's been MASSIVE debate and front page headlines for the last week or so, and the radio call-in show(s) have been flooded with calls. A few 21st century, open-minded people in support of it, but mostly people calling in to voice their displeasure about it. There were even a couple letters in Monday's papers saying that they planned to protest with placards and things like that.
With that in mind, I left for work a few minutes early this morning, and planned to scoot downtown and maybe get a picture or two of the protestors to post up here with this story (with their faces blurred out in photoshop, since I doubt anyone would be in a mood to read & sign a standard waiver/release) :) but NO SUCH LUCK! Between 8:00 and 8:30 there was nothing out of the ordinary downtown. No protests, no angry mobs, nothing! There seemed to be more traffic than usual, but that was about it. I'll try again at lunch time and if I get anything, I'll post an update this afternoon.