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GayTies News for March 21, 2018

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Article of the Week

Same-Sex Marriage Issue is Prompting a Boycott of the The World’s Biggest Cruise Ship Operator

Jamison Firestone cancelled a cruise in protest over Cunard's refusal to stop flying the flag of Bermuda, which recently became the first jurisdiction in the world to repeal same-sex marriage. The world’s largest leisure travel company is facing a boycott for refusing to pull its fleets out of Bermuda, after it became the first jurisdiction in the world to repeal same-sex marriage, GayTies can reveal.

The criticism began when Cunard Line, which runs the Queen Mary 2 (pictured on left), the world’s largest ocean liner, told a gay couple who had cancelled their trip in protest that they would not receive a refund on their deposit – and ignored calls to register the ship elsewhere and change its flag.

The Queen Mary 2, a totem of maritime grandeur, is the flagship vessel in Cunard’s luxury fleet. The British-American cruise line has, since 2011, registered its ships in Bermuda.

Companies registered in this British overseas territory do not have to pay corporation tax. But registering a ship to any jurisdiction or country means abiding by its laws, flying its flag, and paying a fee to its authorities. Cunard did not respond when asked by GayTies whether it is registered in Bermuda for tax purposes.

Since Bermuda introduced same-sex marriages in May 2017, the Queen Mary 2 has hosted gay weddings on board and, according to a company representative, Cunard employees are “proud to be strong supporters of the LGBT community.”

But following the revocation of same-sex marriage last week, customer Jamison Firestone – who had booked a transatlantic crossing on the liner for him and his husband – emailed Cunard calling on it to register elsewhere and asking for his £600 deposit back.

“I simply do not feel comfortable taking a cruise on a ship registered in a jurisdiction that does not accept my marriage,” he wrote. But the company ignored his plea to re-flag and re-register the vessel in solidarity with the LGBT community and refused to give his money back.

A Cunard employee told him via email that the company was unable to refund him “due solely to any personal opinion of the independent laws of Bermuda” and because “a cancellation for this particular reason would not constitute a significant alteration to the package as booked.”

Firestone, a human rights lawyer from London, told GayTies that in fact this did represent a significant alteration of what he booked. “When I made the booking I thought, ‘It’s Cunard, the boat is named after a queen of England, it’s a quintessentially British experience.’ It is supposed to buy into British values or basic values of human rights,” he said, adding that he was unaware at the time of booking where the fleet was legally registered. It did not used to fly the Bermudan flag and was, said Firestone, “a symbol of Britishness for a long time.”

“Then I read in the newspaper that Bermuda had revoked same-sex marriage and that all ships flying its flag would no longer be able to provide weddings, including the Cunard ships. I thought, ‘That’s not what I signed up for. My romantic experience isn’t supposed to be sailing on some ship registered to a jurisdiction that has just decided that people like me shouldn’t be married.’”

The trip was, he said, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for him and his new husband, sailing from New York back to Britain after his husband’s daughter’s graduation in the States. The total cost of the tickets was just under £4,000, but as well as cancelling the trip, he thought Cunard would understand the predicament facing him and his husband and also return the deposit.

“Back in the days of the civil rights movement, people stopped paying for public transport because they didn’t want their money going to segregation. And I don’t want to pay for this,” he said. “What if they had banned interracial marriages? Would I stay on a ship from a country flying that flag? No.”

In his correspondence with the company, seen by BuzzFeed News, Firestone also asked Cunard to oppose change to the same-sex marriage law by removing its fleet from Bermuda – and the flag with it. As well as the Queen Mary 2, Cunard owns the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria cruise ships. Its headquarters are in Southampton, England.

Cunard is in turn owned by the multibillion-dollar Carnival Corporation & plc – the largest leisure travel company in the world. It has 10 cruise line brands including P&O, which has eight ships registered to Bermuda, and Princess, which has 13 ships registered in the jurisdiction. Bermuda is heavily dependent on tourism, and earns tens of thousands of dollars annually for each ship registered there.

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Special Features of GayTies

GayTies, A Community Service, which is a not-for-profit website, is run by disabled Americans. To date, and it has been over 10 years now, no one has gotten paid to work on or manage In the company plan, no one will ever get paid. In fact, the staff still pays a portion of the expenses to host and operate the site. You might think that is really weird or even untrue. Why would anyone do this you ask, if not for pay?

The creators of this website find a great social value in establishing a sort of web-based, gay community outreach newspaper, some may call it a social network. . Like many newspapers, GayTies has an up to the minute gay news section, a featured story, Personal Ads, a game or comic section (including Fun with Captions and dirty word crossword puzzles as well as a unique photos puzzle THEY designed), and an entertainment section. In addition to those common features, has a live chat room, a Video Library of nearly 3,000 gay clips and videos (and growing), a Photo Gallery of 0ver 20,000 naked mens photos (and growing), and some unique features such as daily GAY horoscopes, Lucky Numbers, tons of searchable profiles, and ORIGINAL erotic stories.

AND … here is a biggie, has a real customer support staff that will assist you usually within 12 hours to answer your questions or help you use the website. Wow! That is amazing. All this for free. When they say free, they mean anyone who joins (with a proper email address) has access to 90 percent of the entire website content. They only offer some videos and some photos for a low cost to help pay for the maintenance of the site. GayTies may be free to you, but it is not free to those who run it and manage it and add improvements to it

Why doesn’t GayTies get income from ads and re-directs to other paid sites, like every other gay website that features sexy videos?

It’s very simple. They hate the way those other sites operate. When you go to a site that says “FREE” and you click on something FREE, it takes you to another site that is pay only. They HATE that, don’t you? accepts no advertising. There are no sneaky re-directs to other sites, no re-directs at all, there are no cookies to misuse and abuse their members, there is no selling or exchanging of members' contact info. No tricks.

Let me demonstrate the difference with GayTies and other site, in another way. Almost all gay website out there are either gay videos, or gay porn stories or gay news. BUT as far as I can tell, GayTies is the ONLY website has all 3 of these features. PLUS … live chat rooms, games, personal ads and profiles to search. BTW, the most popular gay videos and photos are guys naked in public. As for our gay porn stories, we have everything form sex and romance to a world of kink and leather,. That is another difference, other gay site are either main stream gay or all kink. has both.

A lot of our members are shut-ins or guys who are deep in the closet who need community information and some comfort and support. I know this may sound like bullshit, but some people in the world want to provide a service. In this case, an important service that delivers comforting entertainment, up-to-date news, great videos and photos, and a vehicle to meet other gay and bi men in person or just on the internet in chat.

Who are these charitable guys who created and operate this site?

They chose to remain anonymous because they do not want to over showdown their humanitarian outreach to the gay and bisexual community. But I can tell you that these men have worked for decades as volunteers in the gay community, many years assisting people with AIDS, working on improving relationships with police, One of these men is responsible for establishing and operating an anti-gay violence hot line, and in general, working to secure full right to the LGBT community. I know almost all private adult websites are probably big companies that spam everyone, trick them, plaster their sites with misleading advertising as well as awful and annoying re-directs. has it organizational model centered on establishing a valuable service. A service that is safe and private, run by a few guys who want to give back to the community. It’s a service that is entertaining and informative; a service that is largely free, and hopefully soon, self-sustaining.

GayTies staff wants to thank those many members for their long term support. If you would also like to help, please buy an upgraded membership, and/or give a donation, or help promote on other website and forums and blogs. We need more members to post links back to on such site as Facebook and Twitter, Reddit and whatever other gay-friendly site you come across. Thank you all for your support!

Tomorrow will begin another new Kinksville story, don’t miss it. Upgrade today to read the full story sections starting now. Read, view and participant in the many things regular members cannot.

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