Words: Steve Brown
Blind Date has come under fire for sending a same-sex couple to Saint Lucia where gay sex holds a prison sentence.
Over the weekend, the Channel 5 show – which is hosted by openly gay Paul O’Grady – made history with its first-ever out bisexual contestant, Jordan Shannon, who went on to pick model Jesse Drew to have a romantic date together.
Although the hopefuls seemingly hit it off at first glance, the show sent the couple to Saint Lucia where gay sex is punishable by up to 10 years in prison plus a fine.
The country also bans same-sex marriages and is the only UN member in the Americas to formally oppose an international declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity.
While speaking to the Daily Star, Shannon revealed he wasn’t told about the homophobic law until he arrived in the country.
He said: “I didn’t know [about the law] until I was told on the way to the hotel. I thought, ‘What the fuck?
“The hotel security woman told me how most gay men were in the closet there as homosexuality is illegal. It’s 10 years in prison if caught.”
Even the UK government’s official travel advice suggests that LGBTQ people should be ‘mindful of local attitudes’.
It reads: “LGBT travellers should be mindful of local attitudes and be aware that public displays of affection may attract unwanted and negative attention.
“Local attitudes towards the LGBT community are mostly conservative throughout the Caribbean.
“Public displays of affection (such as hand-holding or kissing) between opposite or same-sex couples are uncommon. Certain homosexual acts are illegal.”