Provincetown Life Information

Rosie O'Donnell cruise encounters anti-gay church group protestors

Published: Wed April 05, 2006
By: Straight Dope in Life > Relationships
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ABC News

In 2004, Rosie O’Donnell and her partner, Kelli Carpenter O’Donnell, played host to their first gay and lesbian family cruise and invited cameras to shoot as part of an HBO documentary.

The filmmakers captured the bonding aboard the ship — parents coming together to share tips, children telling stories of their common experiences, wedding ceremonies — but they also captured the negativity faced by the vacationers. When the ship docked at Nassau in the Bahamas, it was greeted by two local church groups of antigay protesters who shouted at the men, women and children as they disembarked.

Rosie, however, did not get off the ship.

“Kelli advised me not to,” Rosie said. “Malcolm X’s daughter, Atallah Shabazz, was on the the cruise, and she’s always been a kind of spiritual big sister, kind of leader and friend. She said, ‘Let me go and address the crowd for you’, and there was something very poetic about having her stand in my place and speak the way that she does to a group of people that probably could hear it a little better than coming from anger-filled me.”

The cruise didn’t only attract gay parents.

“There were these two women the last night who came up to me, and they said, ‘Rosie, I just want to tell you, we’re from Long Island. We’re not gay,’” Rosie said, on the documentary. “‘We came because we’re fat, and we knew that nobody would make fun of us at the pool. But next year, we’re bringing our husbands and kids.’ I was laughing my a— off because no one knew what to expect, and everyone came together in such a beautiful mosaic.”

The idea for the cruise originated in 2002 when Rosie and Kelli went to a gay and lesbian family week in Provincetown, R.I., with their four children.

“It was so empowering for the kids to see their lives mirrored back in thousands of other families,” Rosie said. She and Kelli asked themselves how they could duplicate the idea, and Kelli came up with the idea for the cruise.

Rosie said that overall the cruise was positive, and that the O’Donnells’ company was now in its third year, having offered a trip to Nova Scotia, Canada, last summer. This year’s cruise will sail from Seattle to Alaska. Another will go to the Galapagos Islands in November.

“All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise” debuts this week on HBO.

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On Sun April 23, 2006, Teresa wrote:

I don’t find it relevant in any light for any one person or group to protest gay relationships. First of all, people need to accept diversity in whatever form in may come in--religion, race, sexuality, politics. Our country was based on people fleeing from religious persecution, now, we as a country are being completely hypocritical because we are doing the same thing to people who are gay. By we, I mean much of the country, myself not included. I am not gay, and don’t intend to be. As a matter of fact, I don’t understand it all, but I am not going to let that get in the way of other people’s happiness. It is their life, their choices. Second of all, for all the ‘people of God’ you need to keep your mouths shut. For God sake, it’s not like you are going to their home every night and living with them, so why should it concern you? Just let people be happy...let God be the judge, not you. You are trying to place judgement upon the gay community, and it’s God’s place to do so when the day comes. If every life is a miracle, then God aided in the creation of that life, and therefore, every person, including the gay ones, the murders, and so on and so forth, are the children of God. People have the right to their opinion, don’t get me wrong, but everyone should be able to LIVE their life, not defend everytime they leave their homes.

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