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Thursday, 15 February, 2001, 07:23 GMT
Nude nuptials spark outrage
Nude brides at mass wedding in Jamaica
The nude travel industry is booming
Eleven tourist couples exchanged wedding vows in the nude at a Jamaican resort on Wednesday - sparking angry protests from local people.


People get married skydiving, in hot air ballons, scuba diving. It is just nice to do something diffrerent

Jane Jones, television producer
The couples tied the knot on Valentine's Day in an event publicised as "the world's largest nude wedding".

The event, which attracted international media coverage, angered clergy and the government, but also highlighted the growth of a rapidly developing nude travel industry, estimated at $300m a year worldwide.

This amount has tripled in 10 years, according to the Trade Association of Nude Recreation of Los Gatos, California.

Protests

A coalition of the Caribbean-American clergy wrote to the Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson expressing shock and urging him to try to stop the weddings.


This is a nastiness that white people are carrying to Jamaica

Protester
Jamaica's Government tourism agency also lambasted the event as improper and offensive.

The ceremony and everything it entailed - marriage licence, flowers, cake, music - was provided free of charge by the resort known as Hedonism III.

A dozen protesters stood outside the resort, shouting and holding up signs.

But at the resort, the protests have mostly been regarded as an amusing sideshow.

Industry

Reverend Frank Cervasio, of the non-denominational Universal Life Church, performed the 25-minute ceremony that drew about 200 guests.

Runaway Bay, Saint Ann, Jamaica
The event attracted international media coverage
He said he has performed more than two dozen nude weddings since 1995.

"I prefer doing nude weddings", he added. "It is all about nature".

Tourism is one of Jamaica's biggest industries and its largest earner of foreign currency.

Jamaica has laws against public nudity, but it is not clear whether such laws would apply out of public view in a private resort.

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See also:

03 Feb 01 | Americas
Jamaica's outrage at naked nuptials
08 May 00 | Wales
Nudist first for Wales
24 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Australian police arrest nudists
23 Dec 99 | Asia-Pacific
Beach bums banned from Bondi
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