California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has begun allowing conjugal visits for gay and lesbian inmates registered as domestic partners: "The change will allow gay and lesbian inmates the same rights as other inmates, who are eligible to spend up to three days with family members on prison grounds. Corrections officials say they are responding to legislation signed by former Gov. Gray Davis that awarded more rights to registered domestic partners and prohibited state agencies from discriminating against domestic partners...The changes were prompted by complaints from Vernon Foeller, 40, who was serving a 20-month sentence, convicted of attempted burglary, at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. Foeller's request to have his domestic partner visit him last summer was denied, leading him to contact the ACLU."
And from Canada
(Montreal, Quebec) Two men in federal prison in Quebec will marry later this month in the first same-sex marriage at the Cowansville Penitentiary. David Bedard, 22, is serving a 10-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter. Sony Martin, 26, serving a life term for second-degree murder.
The two men met while behind bars. While Bedard will be eligible for parole in a couple of years, Martin, under the terms of his sentence is ineligible for parole before 2020. "Gay weddings have been legal since July 2005 and the first union between same-sex inmates occurred in November 2006, so it's not frequent," prison spokesperson Jean-Yves Roy told the Montreal Gazette.
The wedding is planned for October 29 the paper reported. It will be performed by a judge in the prison chapel and like other weddings behind bars will last about 10 minutes. But when it is over the couple won't be getting a honeymoon. They won't even be allowed to live together in the same cell. In fact, each man has been assigned to a different cell block, and there is nothing stopping Corrections Canada from moving either of the men to a different prison. They will not be allowed conjugal visits and will get to be together only when prisoners have common time - at the gym, outdoor activities, and meals.
Canada is one of five countries where gays can marry. The others are the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and South Africa. The only area in the United States where same-sex marriage is legal is the (*Commonwealth) of Massachusetts.
*original text: state, Massachusetts is a Commonwealth not a State, there is a difference.
1st article news source Difiens' Queer Focus
pic source StakeandCheese
2nd article news source 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff