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Same-sex kisses just not cricket

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    Same-sex kisses just not cricket - 10-Jan-2006
    Same-sex pashes at cricket matches are getting the kiss of death at some grounds after two women were threatened with eviction at the one-day international in Napier.

    A friendly kiss between Richelle Fitzgibbon, 29, and Kelly Holdway, 20, caught on camera at the one-day cricket international between Sir Lanka and New Zealand on Sunday roused a flurry of controversy.

    As the kiss was broadcast to a cheering crowd on the big-screen monitor at McLean Park, a security guard intervened to stop the women. They said he warned them they were distracting the crowd and could be thrown out if they did it again.

    Central Districts Cricket Association chief executive Blair Furlong has publicly apologised for the guard's behaviour and invited the women to come back and enjoy themselves at the cricket again.

    But Westpac Stadium Trust chief executive David Gray said if similar behaviour happened in Wellington security staff would be instructed to intervene as a matter of policy. Women kissing in the crowd would not be shown on the big screen.

    "We would not accept that that's something that should be broadcast on the screen. At a family stadium it's not appropriate and we would instruct our operators accordingly.

    "We're there to entertain the crowd and show the game on the screen," he said.

    Ms Fitzgibbon, a mother of three, said the kiss was just a bit of fun. Her boyfriend had watched and laughed.

    "I have nothing against gay people, but, you know, I prefer men," she told 3 News.

    "It was just a bit of fun. We weren't hurting anybody."

    It was her first time at a cricket match and she was unsure if she would return.

    Redback Security provided the guards at the Napier match. Spokesman Andy Gollings said: "We're there to look after crowd behaviour. I thought what they did was inflammatory, but have no opinion on the action itself."

    Labour Cabinet minister Chris Carter was surprised by and concerned about the incident and said it smacked of unfairness.

    "It seems to me that this is a human rights issue. If there's no kissing allowed at all, then fair enough. But if opposite-sex couples can kiss, then . . . same-sex couples should be allowed to as well.

    "It seems to me, as an ordinary gay person, that this is very surprising and unfair."

    A New Zealand Cricket spokesman said he was unaware of the incident and would need to get all the facts before commenting.
    Ref: - Dominion Post

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