Tahiti and Her Islands can be everybody's haven. Tahitian people are kind, gentle and open-minded. They are ready to share the beauty of their islands with the whole world.
The 2000 edition of the Lonely Planet guide on Tahiti and French Polynesia gives you a pretty good description of gay friendly Tahiti and her Islands: "There are no networks or associations for gays in French Polynesia but French Laws prevail and there is no legal discrimination against homosexual activity. Homophobia in French Polynesia is uncommon. You will meet a lot of very camp mahu working in restaurants and hotels and Rae Rae are transvestites. The Scorpio disco behind the Vaima Centre in Papeete is popular centre for popaa (western) gays as well as rae rae, but it's also frequented by heterosexuals."
For travellers in search of exciting nightlife, Papeete is the place to be. The waterfront and surrounding streets boast an excellent collection of bars and nightclubs, frequented by the local population as well as visitors to the islands. With strong European influences, Tahiti's nightlife is an enjoyable contrast to the tranquillity of other islands.
For those who enjoy shopping, there is plenty to choose from around Tahiti! Shops are opened from Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm to 5 pm/6 pm. Most of them are opened on Saturday mornings are closed on Sunday. But in Papeete the market is open every day. The food market is located on the basement but in this 3-floor building, you can find all kind of souvenirs, local clothing, accessories and beauty products: pareos, hats, pearls, perfumes, soaps, creams and body oils, flavoured teas and coffees and all these local items are available at very competitive prices. Tahitian black pearls are world famous for their quality and what better place to buy them than in their place of origin.
For lovers of fine food and romantic dining, Tahiti and Her Islands have a huge variety of restaurants to choose from, offering world class cuisine bringing together the influences of the South Pacific and France to create a uniquely Tahitian experience. What could be tastier than an eclectic meal, combining the delicious fresh produce of these lush islands, accompanied by delightful French wines to compliment the flavours, whilst, gazing across the lagoon to the silhouette of an island in the distance, as the sun drops to the horizon creating a spectacular light show to dine by. A romantic toast to a magical encounter...
The outer islands are much quieter and they are mostly renowned for their relaxing atmosphere and romantic sceneries. Each island has its own magical beauty, character and charm, from the volcanic mountain peaks of Tahiti and Moorea, to wild, rugged islands of Huahine and Marquesas, to the world's most beautiful island of Bora Bora. Each one offers some of the most private resorts and islets on earth while offering a wide range of activities: water sports, hiking, 4WD safaris, sailing, snorkelling and scuba diving.
Whether you're alone, a couple or a group, Tahiti and her Islands is the ultimate in a get-away-from-it-all destination. You can charter a boat, go with your friends on an exclusive lagoon cruise or chill out with them in the privacy of your own secluded island paradise such as the Vahine Island Resort. Tahiti also caters to gay groups, offering exclusive hotel book-outs at many resorts, providing full and private use of all services and facilities.
Men playing nose flutes as an example, the gay-friendly, gay-run 'pension' Raimiti in the Tuamotu atholl is very open and accommodating. For complete packages contact your local Tahiti specialist or for information visit RAIMITI.
Vigilante justice apparently has just received the endorsement of the Salt Lake County District Attorney's office, who announced on August 6th, 2008 that they will decline to file the felony charges of aggravated assault and burglary proposed by South Salt Lake Police against against the parents of two children allegedly kidnapped by their next-door neighbor, David James "DJ" Bell, although they said the case would be referred to the South Salt Lake City Prosecutor's Office to be screened for possible misdemeanor charges. Full story published August 6th by the Deseret News. See previous post HERE.
During the early morning of July 4th, two girls, ages 2 and 4, were found in Bell's house next door. Friends and family of Bell claim the children were found wandering by themselves and Bell took them in for protection until the parents could be alerted. The girls' parents, along with some friends, were engaged in an all-night drunken party, and they claim Bell took the girls without permission.
We now have an updated account of what happened next. When the mother found the children inside Bell's house, she got into a verbal altercation with Bell that was loud enough to wake up his partner, Dan Fair, who was sleeping in another room. The mother began hitting Bell before taking her children and leaving. As she was leaving, the mother warned the men they had better lock their doors. Moments later, at least five adults from the children's house, including their father, broke into Bell's home from several points, breaking through the locked door and some windows. Some of the adults were rumoured to be members of the Tongan Crips, although this has not been verified.
Bell and Fair were beaten, with Fair getting the worst of it. At one point, the attackers smashed a TV set onto Fair's head. He suffered a broken eye socket and his forehead was split open badly enough that doctors had to use staples to put it back together.
Now here's what we didn't know before. Bell ran out of the house to escape, but was caught in a neighbor's yard and beaten. He suffered two black eyes, the side of his head and an ear were heavily injured after his head was repeatedly pounded into the pavement and his neck was cut with shards of glass.
After police came, Bell was arrested and later charged in 3rd District Court with two counts of child kidnapping.
The attack has sparked outrage among Bell's family and members of the gay community who are calling the incident a hate crime. However, Valerie Larabee, executive director of the Utah Pride Center, is now satisfied that law enforcement and the judicial system has taken its course and uncovered the facts in this case.
The mother of the two girls told the Deseret News she doesn't deny people in her house were responsible for beating the two men, but said they were only trying to protect the children. She said she knew Bell was gay, but said his sexual orientation had nothing to do with the attack. She insists that if the couple who took their children were a man and a woman, she would have reacted the same way. But she now regrets the fact that Bell and Fair suffered such a severe beating. Part of the reason the neighborhood may be so edgy is because seven-year-old Hser Nay Moo was kidnapped and killed not far away in April 2008.
But there was still no reason for the five men to come over to Bell's house after the girls were recovered. And there is definitely no excuse for them to have continued to physically attack Bell after he fled his house to get away from them. With the girls safely recovered, the family simply should have called the police at that point.
The five men who invaded Bell's home and attacked Bell and Fair are guilty of home invasion and are common thugs who need to be punished for taking the law into their own hands. Just because Bell is a queer doesn't justify this type of action against him. We're lucky the local gay rights lobby isn't raising hell and demanding more hate crimes legislation. I dislike homosexuality and find it abominable, but I find vigilante justice even more abominable. Then again, when you consider that Lohra Miller is the Salt Lake District Attorney, it should be no surprise that they apparently endorse vigilante justice. Miller is infamous for making up the rules as she goes, breaking them at her discretion, and turning the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office into her own personal fiefdom, with her as liege lady.
The United Territories Of Polynesian Islanders' Alliance (U.T.O.P.I.A) originated in San Francisco, California in March 1998. The organization was formed to provide support to the Polynesian Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community. Originally, the group identified themselves as GPAC (Gay Polynesians Alliance/California). In February 1999, the name was changed to UTOPIA. The new name was better suited to represent the diversity of the club. UTOPIA has been a support organization for GLBT Polynesians and friends consisting of members from Samoa, Tonga, Hawaii, Tahiti and Fiji. UTOPIA hopes to strengthen its alliance by recruiting members from all of Polynesia. Update: In 2007, after years of positive community activism yet with minimal funding to keep afloat, the S.F. chapter agreed a moratorium was needed to allow members and supporters a chance to re-evaluate it's successes and failures in hopes of re-organizing in the near future with a more substantial and sustainable plan for funding. Please stay tuned for further developments.
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