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Guilty pleas in Caribbean gay cruise arrests; Atlantis president: Men had sex 'in full public view'

Associated Press reports that two gay men from Southern California pleaded guilty Thursday to indecent exposure after being arrested for having public sex on an Atlantis Events cruise in Dominica.

From AP:

John Robert Hart, 41, and Dennis Jay Mayer, 43, of Palm Springs, apologized in court and said they regretted their actions. Police said they were seen having sex in plain sight of people on land, prompting officers to board the ship and arrest them on Wednesday.

The two initially were arrested on suspicion of the local equivalent of sodomy in the eastern Caribbean island, which prohibits sex between two men.

The men's attorney, Bernadette Lambert, said they were remorseful.

"They were struck by the beautiful mountains, the clean and clear fresh air and were having a few cocktails, and so threw caution to the wind," she told the court.

Hart and Mayer were fined the equivalent of $900 and released. Click here to read the complete article.

Here's the scenario of events according to Atlantis President Rich Campbell, who posted this statement on company's Facebook page:

Please accept my apology for the late post, we have been at sea for the past 18 hours with limited internet access.

We appreciate the comments on this board regarding the incident in Dominica yesterday, but would sincerely ask that most of you get the facts correct before condemning Atlantis or Dominica for what happened. Here are the facts:

Yesterday morning around 9:30 am two of our guests were seen engaging in a sexual act outdoors on their balcony in full public view of the port and town. Not only did many of the residents witness the act, several of our guests saw this incident as well. The local authorities responded to a complaint by several residents. The two gentlemen were arrested on a misdemeanor charge of public indecency and detained overnight. They appeared in front of the local magistrate this morning, paid a small fine, and were released in full.

Please understand that the complaint and subsequent arrests had nothing to do with the guests’ sexual orientation, nor was any “anti-gay” law invoked. These guests were engaged in behavior that is inappropriate in any port of call, or major city for that matter.

The guests were never left on their own. We had both representatives from Atlantis and Celebrity cruises with them at all times during their ordeal and had our local representatives look after them last night. Furthermore, we worked closely with the US Embassy in Barbados to assure that their safety was always being monitored.

Atlantis had 2000 guests in port yesterday in Dominica and most of them had an outstanding time visiting the country. Celebrity Cruises has been extremely supportive, working with Atlantis to insure these guests’ safety and security despite their detention in Dominica. We commend them for their unwavering support through this incident.

Thank you.

Rich Campbell
President, Atlantis Events, Inc.


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I lived in Bermuda, which like most Caribbean nations criminalises homosexuality to the fullest extent of their draconian Laws. You are scoring no points by doing this. In fact your behaviour in their harbour stirs yet more intolerance.

Atlantis should have a major rethink about their itinerary in the future.

I believe Gay Men and Women are looking for the "same sex affirmation they never got in their youth.
Whether it is from fathers, mothers, same sex peers.
They are craving something they did not get while growing up.

Saying, I was born that way, just doesnt "ring true"

If you dont tell the truth to yourself, you will never be free

Until you tell the absolute truth to yourself, you will never be free.

To Rae:
You are not gay, so you cannot comment on what a gay person feels like inside, how our brain works, emotions play out, etc. Telling the truth to myself is that I was born gay. Lying would be marrying a female to satisfy you. It would also be lying to my wife, which is more of a sin than being who I am. You can't just change someone with bleach or dye like you can alter your natural hair color. So true is it that I cannot change who I was born as. I choose not to lie to people. I did that far too long trying to be one of you. Peace, love and acceptance to you.

David, why would I want to you get married? Marriage in itself is not an answer to anything. Ialso feel same sex marriage will not bring you the joy and happiness that many gays think it will. Marriage itself is not Nirvana or some cure-all.

In many ways, being gay seems to be a thing of convenience lately. It is not all ringing true :

I have worked around gays for 20 plus years, and made friends with some, some of them were very nice, some werent, but so what, but certain themes kept coming up, such as socially awkward,never fitting in, being on the fringe, men who's fathers were distance/absent physically or emotionally....women who did not get support from moms or dad.....or worse some people getting molested. I wasnt keeping a tally, I was just observant. I am not some flawless person myself, I just like people to be honest with me. Most people do.
I just don't like BS.

So many people of late say they were not even thinking about being gay, now all of suddenly they are gay, like Queen Latifah who says she could have been married (to a man) a long time ago, but Latifah has trust issues because she was molested. Meredith Baxter Birney who was married twice, and had 2 failed marriages and men that didnt really seemed to care, Meredith says she never ever thought about a woman in her life, all of sudden is open to a relationship with a woman? and is now gay? Cheryl Swopes the basketball player who says she never thought about having a relationship with a woman ever, and was married had a child, now divorced, and happened to fall in love with woman and now she is gay? , Aubrey O' Day a singer (on the Apprentice) who says that she is into whatever works, male or female, and Cynthia Nixon who said that she chose to be gay. Add Cher's daughter who was molested by a lesbian friend around 11, Melissa Etheridge who was molested as a girl.......Rosie O Donell who suffered from the void of her moms death , Janis Ian who was molested by her dentist and her horrible abusive marriages .....something happened in each of these people lives to make them turn to whomever gave them comfort......and if it happened to be a same sex person, then they began to idealize that person, now they are gay, were they all born that way too? Not buying it, there is something else going on......what about the group Queer by Choice? Why would a gay group say that. Maybe because its true.
Maybe all of it is not conscious choice, maybe its subconscience sometimes.

More and more being gay seems to be a thing of convenience....please dont lie to yourself,David but dont lie to me either.

how are you going to say all these people I mentioned were born that way? Something traumatic or deeply hurtful happened to many of them...not all molestation, some bad marriages, some dysfuntional

Maybe some......but the stories just dont all jibe.
Some people could possibly have more testorone, and estrogen, or natural male and female characterics.....but I feel that number is very low.

I feel if you say "I was born that way," it makes it sound offical,and scientific, makes it more likely that people will stop sweating you....but people like truth also. People appreciate truth more than anything. I am not trying to be mean...............but
In a lot of cases, I WAS BORN THIS WAY doesnt sound truthful, especially with the examples I gave. It seems like convenience or pain drove them to same sex love.


Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/gaysouthflorida/2012/03/guilty-pleas-in-caribbean-gay-cruise-arrests-atlantis-president-men-had-sex-in-full-public-view.html#comment-form#storylink=cpy

Oh Rae. Come on, now. Don't you know how old and tired that line of thought is? Just turn it around ask yourself, "Did I choose to be straight? Did I have some painful life experience that drove me to heterosexuality?" (if you are indeed straight and not some self-hating gay).

Your argument falls apart on SO many levels. Here are a few: many straight men and women have emotionally distant mothers or fathers too. Many straight people have abusive marriages that end. Do they flock toward same-sex partners on their second marriage? Many straight people are abused (not necessarily by their dentists, as in Janis Ian's case), but by some person in authority -- a coach, a priest, a teacher. Did they all "turn" gay? Of course not. There may be some small percentage of "situational" gays, but I can guarantee you that that number is infinitesimal in comparison those of us who were born gay. Your attempt to mold homosexuality's etymology to your own belief system is regrettable, as are your powers of "observation" you talk about. 20 years and how many gay friends and you still believe what you believe? Sad. Your limited view doesn't take into consideration that some people delay "coming out" about being gay due to the fears they have about it. You have no idea what it's like unless you've been through it. Your view also doesn't take into consideration that homosexuality has existed as a constant throughout history, or that it exists in the animal kingdom where there are no dentists who abuse, no spouses who batter.

Finally, homosexuality is not some "thing of convenience" as you so blithely believe. Tell me what's convenient about (a) being a maligned minority. Or (b) among many gay males in the developed world, susceptible to a debilitating and sometimes lethal syndrome known as AIDS? Or (c) being denied basic human rights in many locales throughout the world.

The real issue here isn't your view, per se (that to be gay is a choice), but WHY you refuse to believe it when a gay person tells you, straight up, that they were born with same-sex attraction. Turn that lens on yourself for a moment, Rae, and you'll discover that YOU'RE the one making the choice -- the choice to have no faith in the truthfulness of gay peopel because you're uncomfortable with the reality, which doesn't fit in with the world view under which you've been indoctrinated. We can't change our same-sex feelings any more than you can change your hetero longings. You'll attempt to tear down everything I've written either in your mind or in print, so it's not worth pursuing this any further. If living in an ignorant netherworld of refusal is your idea of truth, though, more power to you. Your the one who has to live with you. Cheers, and be blessed.

I have read and heard so many people trying to defend the actions of these two men.....I'm not sure if it's more to do with Imperilism/Racism, because what they are saying is that Big Bad USA and it's citizens can go to any tiny country and do what ever they like and get away with it .

There are many LGBT people living in Dominica, just like everywhere else and I am also sure the other passengers who didn't decide to break the law would confirm that the locals were very welcoming and treated them in a friendly and respectfull manner.

Just imagin if aDominican cruise ship full of Dominican decided to dock in US waters and have sex in full veiw of local families ..........would you still be defending them and using the same weak excuses?........I didn't think so.

Back on topic...Rich Campbell is a sorry excuse for aprofessional gay man. He has created this air of safety,exceptance and freedom. Decided to make as much money off of it and continues to do all of this cruise after cruise with no care of the passengers. I can only assume from what I know rhe truth has been that this story he has "emailed" is full of false lies. Gays be warned. Find another outlet. David & Kris, thank you for your ever non yielding voices. These idiots preach what they do not know continuing the hate as they want exclusivity to the "moral majority". I am thankful for these articles and hope that the last person dies, is arrested or humiliated on Rich Campbell's cruises.

Rich- i've been on many cruises and you have satellite access, so internet is available 24 hrs a day. Saying you've been at sea for 18 hours is a poor excuse. You were waiting for this to play out and needed to speak with your attorneys first.

In Dominican Republic been gay its no a crime. But having sex in public its another thing no matter the sex or the country. Or is it?

Kris, I havent torn down everything you have said. I read everything you said.....but feelings and emotions is an subjective thing. Sure you may be feeling attracted to same sex, but I think something else is underneath. I like examining truth, and just because something is old doesnt mean its natural or good, poverty is old,crime is old, sickness and disease is old........its here, but its not necessarily good or healthy for human beings.

I am not here to hate you, I just disagree. I just like examining things ....and I feel that there are deeper issues driving homosexuality......hurt, pain, repeated rejection.

I worked at a university,and about 40 percent of our workplace was gay, and before all the aids drugs came out, people I knew at work were dropping like flies. I knew a guy personally who was out of control sexually, and he wore his sexuality and lust on his sleeve at work, he would make suggestive comments. He was very flamboyant in a feminine way. Very friendly, I know for a fact, his father was no where present in his life....this man. He had mothers and sisters, so he picked up their influence. I saw him almost proposition people, especially new hires under his authority, they were always young and gay,

When my bosses handsome son visited, he was very vocal about how good looking he was, and sounded like he was going to go after him. I dont believe this was "natural born behavior". I believe it was Out of control lust", and he paid a price for it. Finally, one day after he had been absent for a long time, showed up at work, saying he was dying of aids, and was very thin, and was up front and frank about it.
He told me about his symptoms.....etc....he wasnt shy.
A few weeks later. He was dead. His mother and sisters had a fit at the funeral. It was obvious he had no strong caring male influence in his life.

I dont think God made him gay, or created aids to take him out. I think his choices took him out of here prematurely.

I think gay people have longings for same sex, because you crave what you dont enough of........acceptance and love from same sex people, like peers, dads, moms, uncle, aunts....we all want approval, some of us get it, some dont....and what we dont get, we spend our whole lives searching for....
I think the human psyche will go after what it doesnt get, or what it needs.....

So I assume, then, that all straight people have longings for the opposite sex because they crave what they don't have enought of...acceptance and love from opposite-sex individuals?

Sexual orientation is not about seeking approval. It's about wanting to mate. And finding an appropriate mate. It has to do with where we each find erotic satisfaction and fulfillment. Your 1950s breakdown of homosexuality being the result of "distant fathers" and "horrible marriages" has long been dismissed by the psychiatric community, and has been known all along by gay people themselves.

It's hard educating straight people sometimes because many can't conceive of being born any other way. They think that being gay is a chosen activity, on par with committing a crime, or lying. Well, that's not the case. I even know some gay people who wish they were straight because they think their lives would be easier. It may be so, for them. But they can't change their sexuality any more than they can change their eye color. It's just always going to be.

But I see you need to blame gays for being gay, because maybe it's so distasteful to you, or goes against your relgious principles. Well, guess what? I'm Catholic. Being gay goes against the principles of my religion. But I've long realized that's a flaw in the Church's doctrine -- not in me. I don't hate the Church because of this flaw; I realize it needs to evolve, as it always has, albeit very, very slowly.

Finally, I should say the way you related the story about your lascivious co-worker at the university sounded as if you felt he deserved the fate of AIDS that he got. "He paid a price for it" you wrote. For what...being gay? Or for the actions that resulted from that uncontrolled lust? They are two distinct things, and you're conflating them here. Let's not forget that there are plenty of out-of-control straight freaks, too. You must differentiate their behavior from their orientation. Orientation is NOT a choice. Behavior (usually) is.

And that's the truth.



I echo your thoughts exactly. I am also gay friendly and admire many aspects of the gay community but by appreciation is for the guys from the 70's/80's. Those guys were more honest with themselves.

* When a guy can't get a girl he wants they have only a few choices :

Be Alone
Settle for something you aren't happy with
Purchase what you need ( illegal/expensive)
Be Gay - Have a large community of friends to support you and live a somewhat normal lifestyle.

The average american male is worthless without good looks or a good job and the will to compromise. Most guys want more than that. In all fairness the gay community provides a stable environment to flourish in. People are generally supportive of each other and people can experience things they might not have been able to in the "straight world" In a sense this activity is WAY MORE normal than being a john or a hermit. It's just SAD that this is what society has become because we complicate our lives for no reason at all. The way the "Status Quo" is set up is causing our society to fail...womens rights political agendas legal issues etc.

If this is how you perceive gay men and women, then nothing else will ever be valid and good enough for you to embrace and accept differences.

It's about time to spend your profits on training and educating your staff and put yourself to work to assure safety and awareness for your clients. I am speaking as one of your clients who have been to several Atlantis gay cruises.

(*sigh* I know I shouldn't even bother, but since it is Zombie Savior Day and I'm a heathen with lots of time to kill...)

CNYC wrote,

> * When a guy can't get a girl he wants they have only a few choices :
> Be Alone
> Settle for something you aren't happy with
> Purchase what you need ( illegal/expensive)
> Be Gay - Have a large community of friends to support you and live a somewhat normal lifestyle.


If I'm understanding you correctly, your contention is that all male homosexuality occurs when a man is rejected by the girl (or girls?) he desires (or perhaps he simply doesn't believe he has a chance, is that sufficient?), and then resorts to seeking gratification in the company of other men, which you acknowledge represents a slightly less unhealthy fate than the only other alternatives open to him, which would be either a lifetime spent alone and devoid of intimacy, or being forced to pay for the services of a professional each and every time he sought release?

Please, let me know if I got any of that wrong — I know enough to get by most of the time, but really I'm not all that fluent in crazy.

And in the 70's and 80's, it was still common for most gay men to have made at least some attempts at pursuing girls, or at least pretending to, only reaching a point in life later on, sometimes much later, where they felt ready to come out as gay and turn to pursuing male relationships instead. That probably explains why you'd view gay men in period as having been "more honest with themselves", since they would have started out living "straight" lives, even marrying and having children, prior to coming out.

That eventual coming out would then be, what, a smokescreen? Sure, a deflection necessary to hide an even more shameful truth: they'd proved too unmanly to hold on to their girlfriends or wives, and following the collapse of their heterosexual identity had become so despondent that they were choosing to abandon any hope of womanly love, choosing to instead derive whatever comfort they could find from same-sex intimacy amongst other failed men like themselves.

Whereas, in contrast, younger gay men like myself, who never felt pressured to attempt or pretend at heterosexual conformity, and therefore never pursued women prior to our coming out and choosing to seek relationships only with other men... we're, what, lying when we say that we've always been gay? We're in denial, perhaps, about whatever early female infatuations we harbored that ultimately proved so hopeless, we simply gave up on them without even trying? Is that the manner in which we "complicate our lives for no reason at all"?

If your concept of homosexuality truly bears even the slightest resemblance to that nonsense, I pity you. Some misogynistic theory about women rejecting men into gayness would have been out of touch during much of the 20th Century, never mind how completely barking mad it sounds here in the 21st. What you imagine homosexuality to be, better resembles the premise for a mildly terrible 1950's sci-fi B-movie.

Oh, and please be aware: Just as we don't really get to describe ourselves using terms like "beautiful", "gorgeous", "believable", "valuable", "irresistible", "impressive", and copious others — determinations better made by OTHER people, with at least a small measure of objectivity — by the same token, we don't really get to declare ourselves "gay-friendly". That's for other people to decide, based on our actions towards gay people.

Believing you have a tolerant or supportive view of the gay community, while actually viewing it as some sort of admirably-cheerful support group, which provides emasculated men with much-needed refuge and solace after they've watched their every last hope of succeess at having a heterosexual lifestyle crumble into dust, is NOT what most people would describe as being "gay-friendly".

They'd also be likely to avoid terms like "healthy", "reasonable", "enlightened", or "sanity-adjacent", for that matter.

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