Last edited: February 14, 2005

Rights Court Hears Gay Briton’s Plea on Private Sex

Reuters, November 30, 1999

STRASBOURG, France – A British homosexual convicted for sex sessions at his home with several other men put his case to the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday, arguing that his right to privacy had been breached.

The 51-year-old, given a two-year suspended jail sentence in late 1996 after a police raid on his house, pleaded a breach of privacy and discrimination on the grounds that gay women and heterosexuals could do likewise without prosecution.

"The applicant submits that being charged and convicted for his participation in acts of oral sex and mutual masturbation with more than one other consenting adult male in the privacy of his own home constituted interference with his private life," said a statement from the court after the hearing.

The man, convicted after police seized video footage of him engaging in sexual activity with up to four men, based his plea on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

"He further complains of discrimination under Article 14 of the Convention, as a group of heterosexual individuals or homosexual females involved in similar sexual activities would not have been prosecuted, there being no legislation prohibiting such acts," the statement said.

The plaintiff, whose name was not released, was convicted of gross indecency under Britain’s 1956 Sexual Offences Act.

He secured the right to a hearing at the French-based court in March and a ruling is expected within weeks.

[Home] [World] [United Kingdom]