Photos of a beautiful same-sex couple tying the knot in picturesque Bali, Indonesia have prompted government officials to condemn gay and lesbian marriages from taking place in the Muslim country. While same-sex marriage has never been legal, many hotels offer same-sex wedding options to international travelers. But after Bali-based Duasudut Photography posting a photo of a Vietnamese gay couple posing for memorable pre-wedding photos (out in public and not at a hotel), former Regent of Gianyar and current chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI-Bali), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (Cok Ace) openly condemned the weddings.
“I regret that an event such as this can take place in a public area. Actually, the Event Organizer (EO), could have been more selective. The problem we confront is that (when) the EO comes from overseas, making it difficult to control,” said Cok Ace.
He also added that Bali should discourage this kind of tourism, but instead promote “cultural tourism.” A slap in the face to the LGBT travel community.
“So, Bali must refuse whenever there are factors that are in opposition to cultural values and tradition that we embrace,” he said. Adding: “This is very sensitive and perhaps would not have surfaced in the public if the photos were not take in a public area.” [BD]