Dominica Anti-Sodomy Law Lands Gay Cruise Ship Passengers in Custody

A man on a dock told authorities he saw the two California men having sex aboard a passing cruise ship

Two California men on a cruise were arrested Wednesday in Dominica  and charged with "buggery," a legal term equivalent to sodomy, after someone on a dock claimed to have witnessed the men having sex on the cruise ship.

The Palm Springs men, ages 41 and 43, pleaded guilty Thursday to indecent exposure, according to the Associated Press. They were fined nearly $900 and released Thursday.

West Hollywood-based Atlantis Events, a company that specializes in gay cruises, organized the trip on the Celebrity Summit, which departed Puerto Rico on Saturday and arrived in Dominica on Wednesday. The case involves a Dominica law regarding sexual contact between men.

"Many countries and municipalities that gay men visit and live in have antiquated laws on their books,'' company president Rich Campbell, who is aboard the cruise, told the Associated Press.

Several commenters on the Atlantis Events Facebook page addressed the handling of the situation. No one was available for comment when NBC4 visited the Atlantis Events office.

About 2,000 passengers were aboard the Celebrity Summit when it left Puerto Rico. The ship continued on its journey to St. Barts without the men, who were at police headquarters in Roseau.

"A lot of these countries, they may frown upon homosexuality and, in some cases, it may be illegal," said John Palafoutas, an independent tavel agent. "But they also want the gay dollar. So they kind of try to turn a blind eye, unless somebody does something outrageous."

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