R Family Vacations avoiding Bermuda due to protest concerns

April 20, 2007

MIAMI — R Family Vacations, the vacation company co-founded by Rosie O’Donnell’s wife, Kelli O’Donell, will be avoiding a popular tourist spot during a scheduled cruise this summer. It had previously planned to stop in Bermuda following a July 7th departure from New York. However, the prime minister’s spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk that the vacation company was concerned about what would happen if the cruise stopped in Bermuda.

Though the prime minister of Bermuda said he would not keep the cruise from coming to the island, religious groups in Bermuda said that they would not let the cruise stop there without acting in some way. Andre Curtis of the group United By Faith told The Royal Gazette, “We may just choose to pick them [the cruise passengers] up by bus and bus them to our church, to different denominations, and have the pastors pray for them," he said, according to the Gazette.

However, others in Bermuda were not in agreement with the religious groups’ decision. Renee Webb, a campaigner for human rights, told the Gazette that "it’s a sad day for Bermuda. The church thinks it can dictate who can come to Bermuda and who can’t. Today homosexuals, tomorrow who?"

However, she also told the paper that she realizes the motivation for R Family’s decision. "They’re not taking a risk and you can’t blame them. They said they had 880 children on the ship. These children have been adopted by parents who are same-sex couples and the children know. But it’s one thing to know it, [and] another thing to be faced by people with placards calling your parents whatever nasty names they chose to call them. It’s a shock, the kids were traumatized and they don’t want to go through that again.” The cruise had to deal with protests three years ago when it stopped in the Bahamas. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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