TRAVEL
07/02/2012 01:33 pm ET

Gay Cruise Ship Prohibited From Docking In Morocco, Tourism Minister Denies Banning Entry

A Holland America all-gay cruise ship with 2,100 passengers aboard was turned away from Morocco over the weekend, Reuters reports.

The ship docked Sunday in Malaga, Spain, after the travel organizers said Moroccan authorities prohibited the ship from docking in Casablanca.

"Our port agent in Casablanca has advised us that authorities in Morocco have -- despite previous confirmations -- now denied our scheduled visit," RSVP Vacations travel agency told passengers in a letter obtained by Reuters. "For all of us, this is a very disappointing development."

With mostly American and European travelers aboard, the week-long cruise was supposed to include a 12 hour stop in the city, during which passengers were set to visit the Hassan II Mosque and several marketplaces in the capital, reports Fox News.

But Moroccan tourism officials have denied the ship was prohibited entry.

"We don't ban cruise ships here, and we never ask our visitors about their sexual preferences," Morocco's tourism minister Lahcen Haddad told Reuters. "They can if the organizers want to."

While Morocco is considered to be more tolerant than its neighboring Islamic countries, same-sex relationships are unlawful in the country, with offenders spending six months to three years in jail, according to the International Business Times.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

CONVERSATIONS