When Will Homophobic Prison Officials Support Safe Gay Sex?

Homophobia in prison? No way, get out of here (insert eye roll emoji). It’s no shocker that people who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community face discrimination in many different aspects of life – both personally and professionally. While there has been some progress in advocating for equal (or even basic) rights – one area of this struggle that continues to remain antiquated in their handling of “gay issues” in the prison system.


In particular, males that do not identify as cisgender or heterosexual have faced major discrimination and abuse in the prison system. Most recently, a legal case has ensued in Ireland at the Maghaberry Prison. An inmate (who is currently serving a life sentence) is arguing that a ban on sexual contact at the all male prison and the refusal by the prison chiefs to allow condoms into the jail is a breach of the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Maghaberry Prison in Ireland / Credit: irishnews.com

The inmate (who has been granted anonymity) and his lawyers are challenging the Northern Ireland Prison Service – saying that the system has failed to provide “effective access to preventative measures to prevent sexually transmitted infections”. Condoms, lubricants, and dental dams are among the items being requested by inmates.

In 2010, there were 20,093 inmates in U.S. prisons living with HIV/AIDS – with 91% being men. Among those inmates, 3,913 of them were living with an AIDS diagnosis. At the time, there was still a lack of resources and preventative measures in place to combat the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

Male Prisoners during recreational hour / Credit: Screenshot from YouTube video – America’s Hardest Prisons 2018 Documentary

The Rainbow Project, a gay rights group, may offer their support in the legal issue in Ireland. The group has been working on gay discrimination in prisons for more than 20 years. John O’Doherty – the Director of The Rainbow Project, says that “we are hoping to intervene in the case.”

“Over the last 10 years I have been directly engaging with the Northern Ireland Prison Service trying to implement a programme of support for LGBTQI+ prisoners…

I think honestly one of the main barriers to the implementation of that has been around recognising there has been sexual activity among prisoners”.

While court documents reveal that the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, which oversees the running of medical services at Maghaberry, supports the aforementioned items requested by the prisoner – O’Doherty believes that prison authorities are reluctant to deal with the reality of life in an all male prison. A spokesman for the Prison Service has stated that it would be inappropriate to comment on the issue since legal proceedings are still ongoing.


Uh, I think it’s time that these homophobic prison chiefs get with the program and recognize that butt stuff happens in prison – all over the world. And denying gay inmates condoms is infringing on their basic human rights. Being willfully ignorant to the fact that sex happens in prisons  is not only putting inmates in danger but it’s just another blatant example of how poorly the prison system treats prisoners.


Credit: Screenshot from YouTube video – America’s Hardest Prisons 2018 Documentary

Do you think prisons should provide condoms to their inmates?


This post contains the opinions of this writer and may not reflect the opinions o other writers or the magazine.

2 thoughts on “When Will Homophobic Prison Officials Support Safe Gay Sex?”

  1. These inmates, especially those with life sentences, are VERY bad and wicked people! We’re talking rapists, murderers, arsonists, etc. WHY should we care what they want in terms of their sexual needs??

    The costs of condoms, lubricant and dental dams will be paid by …guess WHO? We, the taxpayers!! They can masturbate in the toliet, in the shower or on each other and be thankful they can do THAT!

    Reply

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