SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Now that same-sex couples can get married in California, state prison officials are trying to figure out what that means 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.
"They will have the same marriage rights as other inmates — they will be able to marry non-inmates, but barred from marrying other inmates in prison," she said.
Prison officials were concerned that allowing two men or two women in the same prison to get married would pose novel safety and security concerns, according to Kane.