Vacationing in an Anti Gay Country
For three months I had been filled with pure excitement because my trip to the Maldives was finally booked. I spent hours on the internet looking at the wondrous beaches, fantastic hotels, and the pure idyllic paradise setting that made up the islands of the Maldives. Each island was more beautiful than the next but each had one thing in common. Each one was paradise. But each one was also anti-gay.
The Maldives is governed by Sharia Law which criminalises same-sex sexual acts between both men and women. The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association states that for men ‘the punishment is banishment for nine months to one year or a whipping of 10 to 30 strokes, while the punishment for women is house arrest for nine months to one year.’
I immediately felt the moral dilemma as an LGBTI traveler. Did I want to go to a country where it was illegal to be gay? Would I even feel safe there? Is it wrong to spend my money in a country where I’m not even welcomed?