Two convicted murderers detained in one of Britain’s toughest prisons have become the first gay couple to marry in jail, The Guardian reports.
Mikhail Gallatinov and Marc Goodwin exchanged vows in Full Sutton prison, a top security facility in East Yorkshire, England, in what is believed to be the first same-sex marriage (or civil partnership) to take place in a prison since the equal marriage act was introduced.
Both men are serving life sentences for gay-bashing crimes. Gallatinov, 40, is a convicted pedophile who was sentenced in 1997 for murdering a man he had met through a gay chat line. Goodwin, 31, was jailed 10 years later for a homophobic killing on Blackpool seafront.
At their wedding ceremony, the pair exchanged vows they had written in front relatives, fellow prisoners, and four prison officers.
“These two guys were on separate wings at Full Sutton and used to meet –- and have sex -– in the prison library,” a source told the Guardian. “Then they managed to get on the same wing and had sex regularly.”
A prison service spokesman said the wedding had come at no cost to British taxpayers. “We are very clear that if prisoners do get married, the taxpayer does not foot the bill for the ceremony and they are certainly not allowed to share a cell,” he confirmed.
In England, under the terms of the Marriage Act 1983, all prisoners can exercise their right to marry under civil law in the place of their detention. Since last year’s Marriage Act, same-sex couples are also entitled to the right to marry in jail.