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Dominica Says It Will Never Accept Same-Sex Marriage

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The Dominica Government has insisted that the island will not follow other countries in accepting same-sex marriage, reports the Jamaica Observer.

Sentences for sex between men can include ten years’ imprisonment. The penalty for attempted buggery between men is four years’ imprisonment.

SkerritIn a statement, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said:

"I will make it clear that there are some things that this Government will not accept and we will never allow for the state to recognise same-sex marriage in our country.”

Claiming that the Sexual Offence Act of Dominica discriminates against homosexuals, activist group Minority Rights Dominica (MiriDom) has called on the Government to re-examine the law as it relates to buggery.

However, Skerrit said that while he is willing to meet with MiriDom, he does not believe that “any one group should impose any views on any other group.”  Skerrit has also dismissed reports that police have threatened to arrest people engaged in same-sex sexual activity.

In 2012, retired police officer Dennis Jay Mayer and his partner, John Robert Hart were arrested on the Atlantis Cruise ship in Dominica and charged with nudity.


Gay Atlantis Passengers Arrested in Dominica Speak Out About 'Inhumane' Treatment: VIDEO

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Retired police officer Dennis Jay Mayer and his partner, John Robert Hart, the gay couple arrested on the Atlantis Cruise ship in Dominica are speaking out about their experience, KTLA reports.

Dominica"I'm not going to implicate myself one way or another, but we were charged with being naked on the balcony," he said.

A photo shows Mayer and Hart, under police escort, being led from court to go to a bank to withdraw money for their fine, as a crowd of residents watched. "I've never seen something like this," Mayer said. "I've never seen people chanting and protesting in the street. It was amazing."

Mayer and Hart have been together 17 years, and told the station "We weren't trying to put on a show for people." Mayer says the judge called them "rogues and vagabonds and authorities wanted to have them medically evacuated to determine whether or not they had engaged in anal sex.

The charge of "buggery" (sodomy) was dropped. Mayer and Hart say they were taunted all night long in a jail cell with no light, no water, and no toilet.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Atlantis Cruise Passengers Arrested for Gay Sex in Dominica

Two gay men aboard an Atlantis Cruise ship docked in Dominica have been arrested, the AP reports:

DominicaPolice Constable John George said the men, ages 41 and 43, were arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure and “buggery,” a term equivalent to sodomy on the island. They have not been charged. The men were seen having sex on the Celebrity Summit cruise ship by someone on the dock, George said....

...President Rich Campbell, who is aboard the cruise, said in a phone interview that the two men were still being questioned as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re waiting to see what happens,” he said. “They’re due to arrive back fairly soon.”

The cruise, carrying 2,000 passengers, arrived today in Dominica from Puerto Rico.

The incident is the second headline-making incident for Atlantis in the Caribbean since New Years. In February, the tour company was in the news after a passenger went overboard off of Cozumel, Mexico.

More from local media outlet Dominica News:

One individual with information on the matter told DNO that “they were informed of the laws of Dominica and they were well aware that their acts would be considered a criminal offence”. Police Chief Cyrille Carrette has confirmed that  two males from California, John Robert Hart and Dennis Jay Mayer, have been charged with buggery and indecent exposure and are expected to appear in court on Thursday morning


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