A UK dating show has copped criticism after producers sent two bisexual men on a holiday to a country where homosexual activity is illegal.
Dating show Blind Date, which screens on Channel 5 in the UK, featured its first openly bisexual contestants on an episode screened last weekend.
The two men, Jordan Shannon and Jesse Drew, were eventually paired up on the show and were rewarded with a free holiday to Saint Lucia, and island nation in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea.
But homosexual sex is still criminalised in Saint Lucia, under Colonial-era laws that have not been repealed.
Men can face up to ten years in prison under the country’s penal code for having gay sex.
Shannon told the Daily Star that he didn’t find out until the pair had reached the island.
“I didn’t know [about the law] until I was told on the way to the hotel. I thought, ‘What the f–k?’” he said.
“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.”
The couple returned to the UK without incident, and a Channel 5 spokesperson said, “We didn’t know and are taking this up with the production company.”
The UK government’s travel advice for Saint Lucia warns LGBTIQ people to exercise caution in the country due to its laws.
“Local attitudes towards the LGBT community are mostly conservative throughout the Caribbean,” the advice reads.
“Public displays of affection (such as hand-holding or kissing) between opposite or same-sex couples are uncommon. Certain homosexual acts are illegal.
“LGBT travellers should be mindful of local attitudes and be aware that public displays of affection may attract unwanted and negative attention.”
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