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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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