December 9th, 2007
Some islands, like Jamaica, are so hostile to gays that those who value their safety should never venture there. Churches on the island are vitriolic in their condemnation and, spurred on by murder-minded anti-gay popular musicians, on several instances local gays have been attacked or killed by homophobic mobs.
Other islands seem conflicted in how to respond to gay tourists. Granada recently was caught in confusion when they discovered that a gay travel group was choosing a couple of cruises that included the port city of St. Georges as a destination.
Thinking that this was an all-gay charter, they were contemplating banning the ships. As word got out, however, hotels reported cancellations and negative press in Canada caught the attention of the tourism board. As did fear that the Canadian government may consider cutting off humanitarian support for St. Georges.
The government quickly decided that all travelers are welcome, but the initial response revealed a basic misunderstanding and fear of gay men and women.
In contrast to those islands, the Toronto Star’s Julia Steinecke brought news today of a Caribbean island that not only allows gay tourists, but is making an effort to draw and welcome them: CuraÃ§ao.
This small Southern Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela is part of the Dutch Antilles. It boasts pristine beaches, beautiful Dutch architecture, eco-tourism, outstanding diving, and a website set up for gay tourists: www.gaycuracao.com.
CuraÃ§ao’s tourism board has been hyping the island’s gay-friendly vibe since 2004 when it launched a dedicated website at gaycuracao.com. Now there are 17 businesses in the IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association: traveliglta.com), the highest membership for the Caribbean.
Everyone credits the Dutch influence, here in the Netherlands Antilles; I’d also acknowledge the local multicultural mosaic for creating an environment where diversity is the norm.
And as the Dutch government has made a commitment to advancing gay rights abroad, CuraÃ§ao can be expected to continue its welcoming attitude.
CuraÃ§ao’s motto is We Live and Let Live (“Biba i Laga Biba”). And that can be seen in the island’s long history of welcoming those who were outside of the majority. It prides itself on being a haven for Jews fleeing the persecution of the Spanish Inquisition and hosts one of the oldest continuing synagogues in the Western Hemisphere.
As with all foreign countries, travel should take into consideration such issues as economic unrest, political strife, and other current social upheaval. And not having visited there, I cannot confirm that the island is a paradise or that gay people are truly welcomed with outstretched arms. But with the overt hostility of much of the Caribbean, these words of welcome make me want to come spend time on their beaches:
“It is important to us that it’s known to the gay & lesbian community that everyone is welcome in CuraÃ§ao. Our island offers diverse culture, art galleries, beaches, museums, fine accommodations and exquisite cuisine that are enjoyed by all visitors to the island.” commented the Executive Director of the CuraÃ§ao Tourist Board
And those feeling Jack Frost nipping may want to know that it’s 77 degrees there right now. And a suite in a four star hotel affiliated with the IGLTA is less than a standard hotel room in NYC.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
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In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.