Carnival Corporation’s Australian managers today promised support to reinstate marriages for gay and lesbian passengers aboard their vessels.
The move came in a statement to Cruise Passenger after suggestions from the UK that LGBTQ travel agencies could organise a boycott of the brands if they did nothing.
Carnival Corporation, the world’s biggest cruise company which includes well-known Aussie brands Carnival Cruise Lines, P&O, Cunard and Princess Cruises, has registered 24 of its ships in Bermuda.
But recently, Bermuda passed new laws which don’t recognise marriages for same-sex couples.
P&O is registered in Australia, and therefore able to continue to conduct the ceremonies. But the rest of the Carnival fleet has had to halt the popular ceremonies.
A Carnival spokesman told Cruise Passenger: “Carnival Corporation has long supported the belief that all of our employees and guests deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Our ongoing efforts have even been recognized with a perfect 100% on the Human Rights Campaign report card.
“We do not agree or support the action by the Bermuda legislature to ban same-sex marriage. You’ll be seeing and hearing more about our support of efforts to overturn that decision in the days and weeks to come”.
Mario Paez, managing director of Planet Dwellers travel and chair of the LGBTQ tourism group, said: “From an Australian perspective, we promote same-sex marriages especially with our laws changing. We promote a lot of cruises for same-sex marriages and honeymoons, so the repeal on Carnival Corporation ships is a real set back.
“But it’s a positive sign that the company is looking for ways to overcome this obstacle like perhaps registering where the ships are based.”
He added: “I do hope they find a way to fix this problem which seems to be a new obstacle for marriage equality and one that I am sure can have a positive outcome if we all work towards it together.”
A report in The Times, London, said Carnival was facing “a boycott from LGBT travel agencies after it cancelled all same-sex weddings on its ships”.
The Times said Carnival Corporation, which owns the P&O and Cunard lines in Britain, registers 24 of its ships in Bermuda, the first jurisdiction in the world to repeal same-sex marriage, making the on-board weddings illegal.