Turns out, love isn’t cancelled in Jamaica…unless of course you’re gay.
Jamaica and DestinationWeddings.com teamed up to celebrate love in the time of COVID-19 by hosting a major virtual wedding.
Sounds wonderful in theory, but sadly, same-sex couples aren’t welcome?
Read on to find out why.
In Jamaica, Love is Not Cancelled… Unless You’re Gay
DestinationWeddings.com and the Jamaica Tourist Board announced their new campaign, “Love Is Not Cancelled,” of course, with a small twist.
They are hosting a virtual wedding ceremony for about 100 couples who had to cancel or postpone their weddings.
Jen Avey, the Vice President of Marketing for DestinationWeddings.com said.
Our hearts break for those who’ve had to postpone or cancel their wedding due to the pandemic. So, we wanted to do something special for these couples and give them an opportunity to experience a destination wedding, albeit virtual, at a time when they are unable to hold their own ceremony.
Sounds positively wonderful, right?
Of course, this may seem like a nice option for most couples, but they’re forgetting something: the gay community.
At the first sight, they seem to have considered everything.
They are offering their participants complimentary wedding packages, room upgrades and exclusive amenities, as well as arrival services.
This exclusive offer will make it easy and affordable for couples to get married in Jamaica once it is safe to travel again.
The Deputy Director of Tourism, Sales and Jamaica Tourist Board, Donnie Dawson, said.
Jamaica specializes in turning big dreams into romantic realities. This event is a new twist on this promise, and we are excited to be hosting this symbolic virtual wedding and look forward to welcoming these couples when they visit us for their bona fide celebrations, when the time is right.
So, they are organizing this Zoom celebration on May 17th, with a view over Jamaica’s shores. However, they’re still forgetting a very important thing.
Jamaica isn’t one of the friendliest places for the LGBTQ+ people. In fact, Frommers reports,
“Jamaica is the most homophobic island in the Caribbean, with harsh antigay laws, even though there is a large local gay population.
Gay Rights In Jamaica
According to Wikipedia, Jamaica’s government said in 2012, that.
[The Government] is committed to the equal and fair treatment of its citizens, and affirms that any individual whose rights are alleged to have been infringed has a right to seek redress.
They also added that “there is no legal discrimination against persons on the grounds of their sexual orientation.”
That may be true, but there’s also no protection against discrimination. The sad fact is, Jamaica doesn’t really love gay people.
In 2006, the Time Magazine called Jamaica “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth,” which says a lot.
According to Equaldex, no protection exists for LGBTQ+ individuals. In fact, homosexual activity is illegal and carries a punishment of up to 10 years in prison.
Happily, there is hope for the future. More people are starting to participate in events such as Pride Week, which attracted more than 1200 people in 2017.
Jamaican trans activist Neish McLean and Queer Eye star Karamo Brown discuss how things are changing below. Take a look.
Still, Jamaica’s prime minister, Andrew Holness, announced in 2019, that they are definitely against the legalization of same-sex marriages.
All that being said, it would have been nice to see the self-proclaimed “leader in the romance travel industry” choose a more inclusive place for an event celebrating love.