CA Prisons to Extend Conjugal Visitation to Gays

Finally, something positive to report on California's troubled prison system. They have adopted a new policy of extending the right to conjugal visits to gays and lesbians:

California's prison system is changing its regulations to allow conjugal visits for gay and lesbian inmates in response to a legal threat and a 2003 law that gave domestic partners many of the same rights as married couples.

Facing a complaint from an inmate in a Vacaville prison and pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has begun to allow overnight visits for inmates with registered domestic partners and is to adopt permanent regulations later this year. 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 in living areas -- usually trailers -- on prison grounds.


Conjugal visits are a good idea for all prisons. The federal prison system currently doesn't allow any such visits. Lawyer Tony Serra takes it a step further and advocates for conjugal furloughs:

The cruelest, most dehumanizing aspect of federal prison life is the forced celibacy entailed within it. The sublimations are horrific. The inmate's essential character is twisted and deformed. Let your imagination smolder on the gruesome substitutes created by prison life. There is no psychological recovery from this privation.

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  • Display: Sort:
    What do you suppose would (none / 0) (#1)
    by JSN on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 11:09:15 PM EST
    happen if Dennis Rodman was the Governor of California?

    A good day for California. (none / 0) (#2)
    by socialistT on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 01:24:26 AM EST
    Yes, "equal rights under the law" does mean exactly that. If heterosexual couples get said visits, then so should couples that are not a part of heteronormative discourse.