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Should Jailed Lovebirds Be Allowed to Marry Each Other?

California's legalization of same-sex marriage has left prison authorities trying to figure out whether they must allow inmates to marry each other.

Currently prisoners can marry someone from the outside, same or opposite-sex. Back in the days of man-woman marriage, California's proxy rule — which states that both parties must be present at a wedding — helped avoid the all-inmate wedding dilemma. Male and female inmates do not share prisons, thus they both could not attend.

Prison officials are wondering what to do when a same-sex incarcerated couple decides to test out the new law. Concerns likely to shape a newly created policy include conjugal visits, and the safety of the couple around other inmates. Since California's Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a civil right and not to be denied to same-sex couples, would it be disproportionate punishment to deny this right to all prisoners?


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UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
WOO HOO!!! :pucca:
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
I'm here. :)
HeatherStJoeMI HeatherStJoeMI 8 years
My stste doesn't allow Cojugal Visits so No. Even if my state allowed Conjugal Visits,I'd say "No". I feel they should have to wait until they're released.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
It is only fair that they allow same-sex marriage since they allow men and women to get married. However they shouldn't be able to marry someone within their prison; no one else can have their partner's with them in jail so this shouldn't be an exception. However I feel that no one should be able to marry while in prison. Prison is for punishment and to strip most of them of any free person's rights. I do not mind them having life partners (opposite or same gender) however marriage is an right that I believe criminals do not deserve. Yet, I do not tote marriage as some great deal, life partner's tend to last longer (divorce rates are wild.) I just feel that if a person commits murder, they shouldn't have that right.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I just checked her page(??) She was on about an hour ago. That's all I know.
stephley stephley 8 years
Hey Dave, have you seen Harmony again since this afternoon? I haven't and I keep thinking I imagined it. I don't remember her being such a tease!
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I don't necessarily have a problem with two getting married, when only one is in jail. I have a problem with any two inmates getting married.
JMK JMK 8 years
To answer a few questions above: --no, coed couples cannot be housed together in CA. There is not a single coed prison in the state, so this would be impossible. --Yes, inmates in CA prisons can get married. Inmates in jail (city or county) are generally not allowed to marry. Prison marriages generally take place in the visiting room during normal visiting hours, and the inmate's family pays for the minister, marriage licenses, etc. --Yes, CA has congugal visits (called Family Visits). These are only allowed for spouses or immediate family (parents, children, siblings and grandparents). Unmarried inmates can only have a family visit with their immediate family. Our constitution calls for equal protection. As long as men and women are allowed to marry while one is incarcerated, same sex couples must be allowed as well. Whether or not you agree with it, that is a basic premise of our constitution.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Yes, a lot do unless the documentary I saw on History channel was complete B.S. It's done on a case by case basis I'm sure.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Hypno - do they allow coed partners to live together?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Many prisons allow partners to live together anyway and for those that don't the prisoners keep it under the radar, so regardless of the label and ceremony of marriage they're still able to be together in many cases.
piper23 piper23 8 years
I'm wondering if referring to a spouse as a "ball and chain" would apply in prison.
Merlin713 Merlin713 8 years
Ugh. You're in jail! No!
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I didn't read all the comments first, sorry, but I'm with Meggy!
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Two inmates should not be allowed to have a romantic relationship, let alone get married. Prison is a punishment, a place where criminals do penance for their crimes. It is inappropriate for them to be afforded the same rights and privileges as those who are not incarcerated.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I agree! Although, if they are going to allow some straight people to marry in prison, they should allow all people to marry in prison. This makes me think of that woman who met a prisoner through writing him letters and then married him while he was still in prison. I will never understand some people.
superstephanie superstephanie 8 years
I agree also, Jail shouldn't be luxurious. You should be denied your civil rights until you've paid the time and earn them by being a decent law-abiding citizen.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I agree Meggy. Prison is about punishment and rehab. Marriage shouldn't be an option for two inmates.
MeggyPoodles MeggyPoodles 8 years
Maybe I'm mis/uninformed, but I don't understand why ANYONE is allowed to get married while they are in jail. Dude (or dudette lol), you're in jail!! It's not supposed to be fun/romantic/enjoyable. Save it for when/if you get released.
stephley stephley 8 years
Coral, I would think forced marriage could become an issue, especially if it could affect testimony or to give the stronger or smarter prisoner inheritance rights. It'd be really hard for the state to intervene in an engagement that prison officials thought was coerced. Could they associate with each other while on parole?
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Huh. That is an interesting concern, steph--I hadn't thought about that before.
stephley stephley 8 years
If getting married already is allowed for straight couples Something, then I think it has to be allowed for gay prisoners as well. But I was just wondering - if the thing about husbands and wives not being called to testify against each other thing could become a problem if you allowed prisoners to marry each other.
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 8 years
hmmmm...I thought prison was about punishing people for the wrong they have done....can't they wait until they are released to do this?
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
While I believe in their right to get married, they are being punished by being in jail. I think part of that punishment is not being with your partner (conjugal visits aside). Are there any legal benefit to being married to someone else in jail? Perhaps inheritance rights? I just can see how this could get messy. Sure someone might marry someone in jail, but will they stay married if one goes free and the other doesn't? What if one spouse dies in jail? Will the other have rights to their stuff on the outside? Prison has its own culture. I could see someone being "forced" to marry someone else because of threats and attacks.
stephley stephley 8 years
That said though, I can see inmates suing because the prison is 'forcing' the couple to sleep with other people putting stress on the relationship!
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