Generally speaking, The Bahamas is increasingly gay-friendly. Although full protection is not yet ensrhined in law, there is still a groundswell of public support for equal rights for all people. Many gay people visit or live here, and while the country once had strict anti-homosexuality laws, things are changing fast.
Of course, the big resorts welcome one and all, knowing how important foreign tourism is. For many years, the all-inclusive Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable Beach refused to accept same-sex couples and booked only heterosexual guests. However, rights groups in Canada and Great Britain lobbied successfully, and the Sandals people found they could no longer advertise their resorts, and their discriminatory policies, in those countries. As a result, Sandals capitulated and ended its previous ban.
Single gays and gay couples should still travel here with discretion. The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA; tel. 800/GAYTRAVEL; www.iglta.org) is the trade association for the gay and lesbian travel industry, and offers an online directory of gay- and lesbian-friendly travel businesses; go to their website and click on "Members."
Many agencies offer tours and travel itineraries specifically for gay and lesbian travelers. Among them are Now, Voyager (tel. 800/255-6951; www.nowvoyager.com) and Olivia Cruises & Resorts (tel. 800/631-6277; www.olivia.com).
Gay.com Travel (tel. 415/834-6500; www.gay.com or www.planetout.com) is an excellent online successor to the popular Out & About print magazine. It provides regularly updated information about gay-owned, gay-oriented, and gay-friendly lodging, dining, sightseeing, nightlife, and shopping establishments in every important destination worldwide.
The following travel guides are available at many bookstores, or you can order them from any online bookseller: Spartacus International Gay Guide (Bruno Gmünder Verlag; www.spartacus.de) and Odysseus: The International Gay Travel Planner (Odysseus Enterprises Ltd.); and the Damron guides (http://damron.com), with separate annual books for gay men and lesbians. For more gay and lesbian travel resources, go to www.frommers.com.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.