U.K. Prisoner Sues Over Gay Kiss Ban
U.K., March 17, 2003
SUMMARY: A British convict is suing U.K. prison bosses
after being banned from kissing his boyfriend when he visited.
A British convict is suing U.K. prison bosses after being
banned from kissing his boyfriend when he visited.
Gareth Evans, 29, is currently serving time at HM Prison
Saughton in Edinburgh, Scotland. He claims wardens ordered him to stop kissing
his partner, 30-year-old Callum Leitch, despite straight inmates being allowed
to kiss their wives or girlfriends when they visit.
Evans is suing the Scottish Prison Service for more than
10,000 British Pounds. Leitch has also complained and is considering launching
his own legal action.
“I can’t believe I have received this sort of
anti-gay treatment for a simple kiss,” Evans told the Sunday Mail.
“We saw a prisoner groping his female visitor. We were
joking about it and I playfully groped Callum. Within seconds a female officer
told us to stop it. I told her if it was okay for heterosexuals to do it, I
shouldn’t be treated differently as a gay man and I filled in a formal
“During our next visit four days later, I gave Callum a
loving kiss, something most of the straight prisoners do, and I was
immediately confronted by the officer. She told me that other prisoners were
complaining and said kissing between two males would not be tolerated.
“When I returned to the hall I was told I had to go to
the nurse because they suspected I had passed a drug parcel during the kiss,
which was not true. I got the answer to my complaint saying I was being put on
closed visits, segregated from prisoners and separated by glass from my
In a letter to Mr Leitch, the jail’s governor, David
Croft, wrote that staff were concerned his actions “may have resulted in the
passing of illicit articles to Mr Evans.”
Tim Hopkins, a spokesman for the the Equality Network,
said: “This is a very clear breach of human rights.”