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Last updated: 27 January, 2006 - Published 21:35 GMT
 
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Gay cruise sparks debate in Cayman
 
The Cayman Islands says it will allow a gay cruise to stop on the island on Tuesday.

The government of the British territory says it has a legal obligation to pursue a tourism policy of "non-discrimination" on the grounds of sexual orientation.

"The Government confirms its support of a Bill of Rights being enshrined in our country's proposed new constitution and notes that the formal adoption of such a Bill will make it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of, inter alia, race, age, religion or sexual orientation," it said in a statement.

There has been criticism of the relaxation of the official policy on gay cruises.

The government rejected similar cruises in 1998 but the policy was overturned in 2001.

As a British territory, the Cayman Islands is also required to decriminalise homosexuality.

Decorum

The government statement said the gay and lesbian passengers will be on just one of seven ships which will dock in Cayman on Tuesday.

The statement said it expects all 16,000 passengers to conduct themselves with the highest standards of decorum.

Media reports say more than 3,000 will be on the gay cruise.

 
 
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