Local February 4, 2015 | 4:58 pm

Evangelists slam Dominican Republic ‘gay paradise’ brand

Santo Domingo.- The head of the Dominican Evangelical Unity Council (CODUE) on Wednesday slammed Tourism Ministry officials, the US envoy’s “romantic partner” and international gay rights groups for in his view seeking to turn the Dominican Republic into the Caribbean’s LGTB tourism enclave, calling it contrary to the country’s cultural and religious values.

The reverend Fidel Lorenzo Meran said the country has many cultural, tourism and environmental attractions which the Tourism Ministry can promote, instead of seeking to convert gay tourism into a country-brand.

"Encouraging a minority’s sexual preference in tourism is inadmissible as an official government policy. The Dominican Republic has been promoted for tourism for its historical and religious values during the last 50 years," the religious leader said.

He said the fact that the US ambassador’s spouse Bob Satawake aims to deliver a speech at the announced meeting between Tourism officials and international LGBT representatives and local groups to promote gay tourism can be considered meddling in the Dominican government’s official policy.

"It’s an intrusion to favor the exercise of a homosexual minority that wants to showcase the wrong image of the country as a gay paradise, which goes against our values as a society," Lorenzo Meran said, adding that Constitution Article 55 stipulates that the Dominican State has defend family values. "The detriment of the family based on a man and a woman goes against any public policy."

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