The state Department of Correctional Services says they will now allow conjugal visits for “homosexual inmates who have entered into a same-sex marriage or a civil union”:
The regulation is a formalization of a policy initiated in 2008 by Governor Paterson, which required New York State agencies to recognize same-sex marriages and civil unions performed out of state. Peter Cutler, spokesman for the Department of Correctional Services, told the Daily News, “If they seek a furlough based on the partner, it’s likely it would be granted.”
It’s unclear how many of these prisoners were involved in same-sex partnerships prior to being incarcerated, but it’s definitely a solid move for gay rights.
Oh, and in case you were wondering what would happen if two inmates found love inside the cell, Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, says that it may be possible for same-sex inmates to enter into civil unions while in prison:
“The more the state is consistent with that status of law the better off we are.”