By Alan Markoff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday 5th May, 2008 Posted: 17:43 CIT (22:43 GMT)
The gay man who was detained by the Royal Cayman Islands Police last week for kissing his male partner on a dance floor, received a written letter of apology from Director of Tourism Pilar Bush.
Although 23–year–old Aaron Chandler of Massachusetts was not actually arrested, he was detained by police and taken to the George Town Police Station. He was told by the officer who detained him that it was against the law in Cayman for two members of the same sex to show public displays of affection.
Ms Bush responded on Friday to a letter of complaint written by Mr. Chandler on Thursday, the day after the incident took place at the Royal Palms.
“On behalf of the entire Department of Tourism, I apologise for your upsetting experience and want to assure you that the Cayman Islands is a welcoming jurisdiction to all people,” Ms Bush wrote to Mr. Chandler. “What happened to you was an isolated incident, and is not representative of Cayman. We know that thousands of gay and lesbian visitors travel to the Cayman Islands every year and enjoy their vacation.”
Mr. Chandler, who has also filed a complaint with the RCIP, said he appreciated the letter of apology from Ms Bush.
“I should say that, yes, her prompt decision did ease the anger for me a bit,” Mr. Chandler said in an email written from back home in the United States.
“In addition, it’s just good business sense for Ms Bush to have apologised to me. The [Department] of Tourism surely doesn’t want to have someone leave the Cayman Islands not wanting to come back.”
Ms Bush also said in the apology letter that she would call Mr. Chandler at the Grand Caymanian, where he was staying, to see if see could connect personally to discuss the matter. However, Mr. Chandler said he never received the call prior to leaving the island on Saturday morning.