With same-sex marriage in full effect out in California, the state’s prison officials are busy trying to set things straight for gay inmates:
No prisoners so far have sought to arrange weddings with same-sex partners since the state Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the right to wed as of mid-June, according to Michele Kane, spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Nonetheless, department lawyers are drafting guidelines to bring the state’s 33 adult prisons into compliance with the court’s ruling that same-sex couples must be treated the same as opposite-sex couples under the California Constitution, Kane said.
What they have determined so far is that would mean allowing gay inmates to marry someone on the outside, but not a fellow prisoner – the same rules that apply to straight inmates, according to Kane.
One thing this would change, however, is who performs the marriages. Prison chaplains traditionally help couples tie the knot, but the Department’s legal team may recommend chaplains leave that business to someone else. That way no one’s forced to perform a marriage of which they disapprove and the prison can’t get sued. Everybody wins!