Cayman Islands Dept. of Tourism Apologizes to Gay Kiss Arrestee

Cayman Islands Director of Tourism Pilar Bush sent a letter of apology to Aaron Chandler, the 23-year-old Massachusetts man I posted about yesterday. Chandler was arrested last Thursday in the Caymans after kissing his partner on a dance floor while vacationing there.

ChandlerSaid Bush in the letter, which Chandler received on Friday: “On behalf of the entire Department of Tourism, I apologise for your upsetting experience and want to assure you that the Cayman Islands is a welcoming jurisdiction to all people. What happened to you was an isolated incident, and is not representative of Cayman. We know that thousands of gay and lesbian visitors travel to the Cayman Islands every year and enjoy their vacation.”

Chandler told the Cay Compass that he appreciated the response: “I should say that, yes, her prompt decision did ease the anger for me a bit. In addition, it’s just good business sense for Ms Bush to have apologised to me. The [Department] of Tourism surely doesn’t want to have someone leave the Cayman Islands not wanting to come back.”

Bush had reportedly told Chandler that she would call him at his hotel, but he did not receive the call prior to leaving on Saturday. There has been no word from the Royal Cayman Islands Police, to whom Chandler also complained.

Previously
Cayman Islands Police Arrest Massachusetts Man for Gay Kiss [tr]

Comments

  1. Derrick from Philly says

    Well, of course they apologized. This is about money, honey. The Cayman Tourist Industry isn’t as stupid as the Jamaicans’ or Lithuanians’ or Egyptians’ (the Egyptians break my heart…all those gorgeous men, and it aint safe for a “queen” to go there and get one…dammit).

  2. says

    Good!! His next trip should be at their (cayman authorities) expense! I know, silly me!
    Derrick, don’t you worry, boo! All you need is a quick trip to Paris or Brussels and the fine a$$ north Africans are yours to discover!!

  3. churchill-y says

    Sure after they succeeded in harassing out the Homo from the islands they want to cover it up with a simple letter of apology.

    Of course that might be sufficient for some Afrocentric gay self-loathers who are more than happy to live in the closet and not be able to display any show of affection no matter how non-oversexualized it is just for the sake of not offending their fellow black Homopobes.

  4. JerzeeMike says

    I suppose we should take our victories where we can and I appreciate the gesture made by Ms. Bush on behalf of the Cayman Tourism Board. What disturbs me is that the officer stated that it was against Cayman law for same-sex couples to show affection. If that’s so then the Cayman Islands are still off my list of vacation destinations until that is changed by the government of Cayman.

  5. CHURCHILL-Y says

    UhOhChongo,

    My criticism has nothing to do with race and everything to do with the double standards some people seem to have just because the homophobes happen to be of their same race. I’m the first one to criticize people of my race in their homophobia and these people who have accussed me of somehow of being racist are the first to critize them also and I see nothing wrong with that, hell I embrace it! but those same people are more than willing to look the other way when it’s different just because of the amount of melanin the bigot has. I refuse to be intimidated by them.
    If you live in a soverign nation and want to behave like an Ape fine with me(as long as it’s not the USA), all I can and will do is inform people about your behavior so those intelligent enough can avoid and not be patrons of such places.
    Having said that the Caymans don’t fall on that category, if they are to have the title of british overseas territory then I’m going to join who ever wants to hold accountable the british for whatever control they have overthere.

  6. John says

    Actually, the police officer was correct when he said males kissing in public is illegal in the Caymans.

    After the Labour government tried unsuccessfully to get these colonies to decriminalize homosexuality by their own accord, Britain’s Privy Council finally intervened in 2000. The Privy Council decriminalized homosexuality in its Caribbean overseas territories.

    However, since the British didn’t completely do away with their own anti-gay sex legislation until 2003 (Sexual Offences Amendment Act), certain provisions were never repealed by the 2000 PC order.

    For instance, prohibitions against “gross indecency” (public same-sex contact) remained a crime in the UK until 2003. And it is still a crime in the Cayman Islands.

    When white folks pretend that their breathen were always tolerant of homosexuality… it merely harkens back to those “we’re more civilized / morally superior” arguments made by 19th century imperialists. It is a form of passive-aggressive liberal racism. And it certainly doesn’t reflect the long history of homophobia in Europe itself.

  7. CHURCHILL-Y (AMERICAN AND PROUD! ) says

    John, 2003? we are in 2008 it’s about time the british put everyone under their umbrella in order. Also, when you are fearing for your life and well being, the
    catch phrase “passive-aggressive liberal racism.” people like you use to get away murder gets thrown out of the board.

  8. says

    When i was in grand cayman last it was on an Atlantis cruise in 2006. nearly 4,000 gay men getting off the ship, and everyone knew we were coming. We were protested and i honestly did not feel welcomed or all that safe. Even on the way to a snorkeling excursion, the radio in the car played a call-in program where people were complaining that the gays were allowed to dock there, etc etc.
    Alle of the tourist-y places will gladly take your money, but don’t mistake that at all for a welcoming atmosphere. I would probably not return to Cayman in a long time, and i would urge others to spend your tourist dollars elsewhere!

  9. Derrick from Philly says

    CHURCHILL-Y,

    There have been openly black gay people fighting homophobia (& racism) long before you were born. Your comments have gotten downright silly.

    SHANE, you don’t even know what you agreed with…who the hell can figure out what that demented child said.

    FORREAL,

    it’s been a while since you last posted here. Several months ago, you warned me about “never tiring of my Stepin’ Fechit Show.” It’s ironic that Towlroad’s resident “Stepin’ Fetchit” should be getting his/”her”/its ass whupped from both sides today. Check out the thread on Mrs Mildread Loving’s death and legacy–you can nod your head in amusement and say, “…told you so.” Subtle amusement though–the topic of the thread has nothing to do with amusement.

  10. aaronj says

    Good for public relations.

    Bad for standing firm when the ‘authorities’ try to press a good point.

    I still think Aaron was pushing his luck. Arrogance is not a trait I want to hold dear, nor thrust upon me by the world-at-large who thinks Americans are dip-shits.

  11. Brandon says

    Churchill-y, you can try to wiggle out of it all you want, but I think the prejudice in making statements talking about “Afrocentric gay self-loathers” not being willing to offend their “fellow black Homophobes” is apparent. For starters, do we even know if any of the police, etc. are black? Haven’t you already jumped to a conclusion about that? And, why are we even talking about black homophobes? Do we talk about white homophobes? White people that are homophobic are just homophobic, but you want to put black people that have anti-gay prejudice in some sort of special class? That’s ridiculous. The STORY was about discrimination. Somehow, if black people are involved, in becomes a black story. Is it a surprise that some black people may get a bit defensive when criticized if ALL black people have to account for EVERY thing someone black does?

  12. Oscar says

    Gays stay away from the Caribbean.It is dangerous to your life.Not only the Caymans but all the rest.Jamaica,Barbados,Trinidad&Tobago,etc are all homophobics.It is ingrained in the culture and they are not about to change.Stay away if you value your life.Go to Vegas or P-Town.

  13. Matt says

    “For starters, do we even know if any of the police, etc. are black?”
    — Brandon, 5/6/08 5:26:24 PM

    Brandon, under which rock have you been living? Have you ever been to Bermuda or The Caymans or Jamaica? The whole culture is black. The only white people are the tourists and a few British citizens. They’re little Ugandan and Zimbabwean and Nigerian & Angolian dictatorship enclaves where insanely homophobic black men have all the power and whitey better do what he’s told — gay or straight. Especially gay.

    Here’s an experiment: Brandon, Crispy, and the other twit who call me & Churchill-y racists: go down to Jamaica and make out with each other on the beach. You will soon find that your color is irrelevant as they bash your (supposedly) gay asses to a bloody pulp.

  14. crispy says

    Matt,
    You are a racist. You may as well be proud of it.

    I have actually been to Jamaica. Have you? I doubt it given what a huge coward you are.

    You’re a pathetic loser. Go fuck off.

  15. Ted says

    I guess its a good thing I didn’t get caught in the steam room at the Ritz! The guy had a tatoo on his foot, wow!

    It is such a shame that such bigotry is alive and well and in what is otherwise a very civilized place.

  16. Brandon says

    Matt:

    1) I have been to Jamaica. I also have friends from other islands in the Caribbean who have white and Asian people in their families living on these islands. It’s because of this experience that I don’t jump to the conclusion about the color of the individuals. The individuals in question may have “black” skin, but you don’t know that. This is an assumption on your part and it’s one of a number of assumptions that you have made.

    2) Having been to Jamaica and having friends from Jamaica, I agree that many Jamaicans are homophobic. However, didn’t this incident occur in the Cayman’s? Exactly how and why are how Jamaican’s feel about gays relevant to how people living in the Cayman Islands feel? These are two different countries.

    3) Black is not a culture. It is a physical description. People that are black, but that are from different countries have different cultures. Black American culture is different from the culture of black French people, which is different from the culture of black people from South Africa. Why are you lumping people from different parts of the world into the same pool because of the color of their skin? Are Chinese people and Japanese people the same because they have similar racial characteristics? What about Japanese and Koreans? There aren’t any reputable historians, cultural anthropologists, or scholars of any type that would lump all Asian’s into one, singular culture or black people into one culture.

    4) Yes, there are homophobic black people. And yes, some live in the Caribbean. However, you are making vast generalizations and assumptions with no logical basis about entire groups of black people. That’s the problem. Res ipsa loquitur Matt.

    5) Do you use the same sort of logic regarding the actions of white people? Most serial killers are white, so should women (who are most often the victim of serial killers) avoid white men?

    6) Lastly, it’s clear that you don’t think your views are problematical. I think they are, but the purpose of writing and addressing them is really to get you to stop and think. Perhaps that’s not going to work, so why don’t you chat about this issue with three of your co-workers. Show them your posts and see if they think there’s something amiss with lumping black people from disparate parts of the world into one group. I cannot imagine that the posters on the this blog are the first to challenge your views, but perhaps that is the case so I think you should test them out and get some feedback. And if others think your positions are off-kilter, maybe you should consider rethinking them.

  17. EvilEuropean says

    I cant help but think that there is alot of displacement going on here.
    ‘See, there homophobic as well. America is not that bad!’

  18. John says

    But the fact is, America isn’t that bad. There are many divergent viewpoints.

    Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts. 11 other states and the District of Columbia has enacted some form of civil union, domestic partnership, or unregistered co-habitation policy. About 20 states ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And after a long, protracted court battle…there are no longer any sodomy laws in all the 50 states. Only two states ban same-sex adoptions.

    We have a population as large as the entire European Union BTW. No one expects same-sex marriage or adoption to come to Poland or Italy anytime soon.

    And yet, America is always held to an impossibly high standard. Even while fascist clowns like Berlusconi, Stoiber, and Kaczynski can call their enemies “faggots” and “pedophiles” without any consequence. Americans have problems with homophobia. Nobody denies that. But Europeans are incredibly hypocritical on this issue.

  19. says

    Thanks, Matt, for posting the link to the Cayman Net News. An off-duty policeman coerces and bullies a tourist and there’s not even a law on the books for what he says is a crime? That scares the crap outta me. Until the Cayman Islands proves through years of action that its citizens are truly welcoming to LGBT tourists, I’m going to avoid the Caymans. I’m sorry this guy had to go thru that.

  20. Lisa says

    Just want to add my two cents. I am a Caymanian and while disgusted at what happened to Mr Chandler.

    People have to understand they are visitors to a country or island, even though there is not a written law the island has it’s religious culture, some of which I don’t believe in myself.

    But it’s still our way of living. One can also be arrested for being nude or topless on the beach should Cayman change their way of thinking in regards to that as well?

    In America when we visit or live we have to abide by there laws and beliefs as well don’t we?

    You can warn all you like, everyone will have different experiences in any caribbean island.

    And as for the person that said the islands are made up of little Ugandan, Zimbabwean, Nigerian & Angolian.

    I am Hispanic and German, My mother is of German decendants that traveled to the islands during seafarer years, and my father is from a spanish island off Central America. There are also Canadian, American, Europian, Latin, and Asian people living in The Cayman Islands.

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