Authorities on Grenada will not ban cruises for gay people from their shores.

Tourism Minister Clarice Modeste-Curwen yesterday complained that some hotel bookings on the island have been cancelled because of news reports that such a ban was being considered.

A statement has been released after several days of consultation:

“The Ministry of Tourism views with concern the recent negative and adverse reactions being promoted in some sections of the media on the perspective visit of homosexual visitors to our island.

“Of equal concern are the negative reports which have now appeared in the foreign press stating that Grenada has barred gay cruises from docking in our island.”

The tiny island nation, which has a population of 103,000, gained independence from the UK in 1974. Male homosexual acts are illegal and punishable with up to ten years in jail.

Other Caribbean islands have had problems with the new phenomenon of gay family cruises.

A cruise hosted by lesbian comedian Rosie O’Donnell was the focus of faith-based protests when it visited the Bahamas in 2004.

Earlier this year church groups on Bermuda had promised action against visiting gay families.

A ship was scheduled stop at the island after departing from New York on July 7th, but changed its itinerary.

R Family Vacations, the company owned by Ms O’Donnell that organisesdthe event, was said by the Prime Minister’s spokesman to be concerned about “what might occur if the cruise stopped in Bermuda.”