SoCal Gay Men Arrested For Sodomy During Caribbean Cruise Released
Two Southern California men initially arrested in the Caribbean for having gay sex pleaded guilty today to indecent exposure, reports Associated Press.
The men were each fined $900 and driven to the airport. Whew.
The duo was identified as John Robert Hart, 41, and Dennis Jay Mayer, 43, of Palm Springs. The pair were on an all-gay cruise organized by West Hollywood tour company Atlantis Events when they were arrested after allegedly having sex on-board in view of land.
The Celebrity Cruises ship was docked in Dominica, one of several Caribbean island nations where sodomy is illegal and homophobia runs rampant.
The pair was initially arrested on suspicion of sodomy, which could have meant jail time.
Jess Kalinowsky of the L.A. based Friends Travel agency told the Weekly that Atlantis should have warned its passengers to keep a low profile in Dominica:
I had clients on the ship. I said when you're in Dominica don't hold hands, kiss or do anything like that. You can get in trouble.
He said Dominica, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas are notoriously anti-gay, and that he tries to talk his clients out of travelling there:
The travel agent that sold the trip should have told the people that.
On the other hand, Kalinowsky said, "Gay men especially love sunshine. And so the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, and the Mediterranean are all going to be popular."
We called Atlantis for comment but had yet to hear back. We're told it's the largest gay tour company in the nation.