Rosie Cruise rerouted over protest threats: Family Pride responds

As many of may have heard, last week R Family Vacations, organizers
of vacations designed specifically for the gay and lesbian
community, announced that they would be
rerouting their July 2007 R Family Cruise amid warnings of
. Over the last several months, Gregg and Kelli were
repeatedly warned by Bermuda officials that there was a serious and
vocal contingent of local churches planning to protest our arrival
at the Bermuda stop. Because of this, the R Family team decided to
reroute the cruise to Port Canaveral and Key West.

I want to write to you to express my support for R Family Vacations
and their decision to reroute the July 2007 cruise. As you know
Family Pride has an incredible partnership with R Family that
allows them to entertain your families while Family Pride provides
critical education about our battle for equality.

I understand the difficult choices that those who plan events for
our families are sometimes faced with and I unequivocally support
the decision to reroute the July cruise. The fact that Gregg and
Kelli’s number one concern is to ensure the safety and fun for
our families on these very special vacations is to be

I understand that some people might be disappointed by the change
in itinerary or concerned that we not back down to threats from
hate mongers. However, Gregg and Kelli respect that not every
family would want to be involved in such a highly charged encounter
and made the decisions that protects ALL families. We support Gregg
& Kelli’s belief that being political on a family vacation
should be a choice – not required by all those on board.

Gregg and Kelli have promised families one thing – fun, inclusive
family vacations for LGBT parents, their children and those who
love them. They are not a political organization and I think we
should understand that they are honoring the mission statement of
their business. They do, however, provide very generous support to
many of the LGBT organizations that do the important work of
fighting for our equality – including Family Pride. Our exclusive
partnership with R Family Vacations exists precisely because they
want to support an organization that is best equipped to do the
work of educating, activating, engaging and challenging people
about their stereotypes and misinformation about LGBT people and
parents. That is why, with R Family Vacations support, we will
continue the work of making sure our families are accepted in every
corner of our country and beyond.

As usual, Family Pride will be providing all of the educational
content, training and workshops aboard the cruise and we will speak
specifically about how parents can advocate on behalf of the
children and their families in the face of hostile environments. I
urge you to attend one or more of these workshops as a step in
ensuring a better world for our families and our children.

I strongly urge you to express your support of our families by
joining me and R Family Vacations on the July Cruise from New York.
One of the best ways we can show the Bermuda officials the harm the
hate mongers caused is to remind them of the success of this cruise
and the lost opportunity for Bermuda in not hosting our wonderful
families as tourists in their country.

I look forward to seeing you all on this cruise – and thank you
in advance for your continued support of R Family Vacations. This
unique business is vitally important for our community and I hope
you will do everything in your power to ensure its success –
including traveling with us in July to fun ports of call.

Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director
Family Pride