Also see: Gay Caribbean News & Reports
December 6, 2007 – Jamaica Gleaner
Grenada opens arms to gay cruises
St. George’s, Grenada (CMC) – The Grenada Government yesterday announced that it would not prevent several cruise ships carrying gay passengers from docking at Port St. George over the next few months. A statement from the Ministry of Tourism says there has been a negative fallout as a result of reports in the foreign press suggesting that the country was moving to ban gay cruises to the island. Cruise liners Queen Mary 2 and Legend of the Seas have scheduled cruises with gay passengers to several Caribbean countries, including Grenada, in December, January, February and March.
Officials are particularly upset about a headline appearing in the online edition of the Toronto Star newspaper, which says ‘Grenada considering ban on gay cruises’. Adverse reaction "The Ministry of Tourism views with concern the recent negative and adverse reactions being promoted in some sections of the media on the perspective visit of homosexual visitors to our island," said the statement read by Permanent Secretary Arlene Buckmire-Outram on Wednesday, following several days of consultations on the matter involving tourism officials and various stakeholders. Of equal concern are the negative reports which have now appeared in the foreign press stating that Grenada has barred gay cruises from docking in our island," said Buckmire-Outram.
Tourism Minister Dr. Clarice Modeste Curwin also complained that inaccurate reports suggesting that Grenada was planning to ban gay cruises to the island have led to a number of cancellations at local hotels. Dr. Modeste told reporters that persons have also protested by dispatching letters to the Canadian Government asking that country to cut aid to St. George’s. "As a result of this a number of hotels have had cancellations and this does not augur well for our tourism sector," the statement said.
December 07, 2007 – thestar.com
Grenada relents on gay cruises – Island has sea change on port ban after protesters cancel hotel rooms, ask Ottawa to stop foreign aid
by John Goddard, staff reporter
Cruise ships carrying gay passengers will be permitted to dock in Grenada this winter, the Caribbean island’s tourism minister says. Several hotels received visitor cancellations after the Toronto Star reported last week that the country was questioning whether to allow entry to gay cruise ships, tourism minister Clarice Modeste-Curwen said in a statement yesterday. Some protesters also wrote the Canadian government asking that aid be cut to Grenada’s Port of St. Georges where cruise ships dock, she added.
"This does not augur well for our tourism sector."
She said: "We will continue to welcome all visitors and we will work, along with our population, to ensure that their time and ours will be enjoyable. Grenada respects the rights of all persons of all persuasions and lifestyles." Left unmentioned was that homosexual relations remain illegal in Grenada. The government’s position was reached "following several days of consultations on the matter involving tourism officials and various stakeholders," the minister’s statement said.
In Toronto, the head of the Toronto-based gay rights group Egale said she was watching developments closely. "We’re hoping the government will change its legislation," said Helen Kennedy, "not only for the sake of cruise passengers but also for the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) community in that country." Rachel Charles, spokesperson for the island’s HIV/AIDS advocacy group Human Rights Desk, said the country’s laws violate UN human rights conventions signed by Grenada, as does government questioning of whether to allow gay cruises to stop at the island.
"All people have an equal right to freedom of movement," she said.
In the government’s questioning of gay landing rights last week, officials seemed to be under the impression that Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas had scheduled all-gay cruises stopping in Grenada in December, January, February and March. Both cruise lines reached by the Star contradicted that information. Legend of the Seas stops at Grenada on Dec. 26 but it is not a gay charter, a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean International said. The Queen Mary 2 stops on Dec. 27 but the ship has no gay charters booked for December or next year, said a Cunard Line spokesperson.
Pied Piper Travel in New York confirmed it has booked a block of rooms for gay travellers on the Queen Mary 2 for this month’s sailing, and questioned how Grenada port authorities intended to block its clients from disembarking and not other passengers.
May 25 ,2011– MSNBC
Police in Grenada accuse man of having gay sex
by Linda Straker
St. George’s, Grenada — Police have arrested a man for having sex with another male on the eastern Caribbean island of Grenada, where a law against homosexual acts remains on the books but is rarely enforced. A 41-year-old man was charged with having sex with an unidentified 17-year-old man, Grenada’s director of public prosecution, Christopher Nelson, said Wednesday. The age of sexual consent in Grenada is 16 but while the sex in question was consensual, local law prohibits sodomy under the charge of "unnatural connection."
Grenada is one of several Caribbean nations that has laws banning sex between men. The penalty in most islands, including Grenada, is up to 10 years in prison, although Barbados and Guyana have life imprisonment, according to a 2010 United Nations report. Many islands remain socially conservative, with Jamaica considered one of the most hostile islands toward homosexuals. A gay right activist was killed there last year, and three gay men were attacked and beaten in St. Lucia in March. Gay cruises to the region also continue to draw protesters.
In Grenada, gays are discriminated against and find it hard to find employment and housing, said Nigel Mathlin, president of GrenCHAP, a local nonprofit organization that represents marginalized groups. "The government, they are very much aware of the changes that need to be made, of bringing our laws into line with international human rights principles," Mathlin said.