California to Allow Inmates to Marry Same-sex Partners


Last week, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced that after the Supreme Court decision that allowed marriage equality to resume in California, inmates in the state will know be allowed to marry same-sex partners–as long as their partners aren't in jail.

In a memo released by the CDCR involving the change, the department said that, "[c]onsistent with existing practices, and in furtherance of security concerns …, a currently incarcerated inmate shall not, at this time, be permitted to marry another currently incarcerated inmate."

According to the Sacramento Bee, the memo was distributed by the office of San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano:

Ammiano's office said in a media release that some prisons had interpreted the law in a way that barred inmates from marrying same-sex partners, prompting a legislative inquiry and the ensuing memo.

"Inmates have the same legal right to marry as those who are not inmates," said Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the state corrections department. "The memo clarifies the policy we already had."

You can read the full memo released by the CDCR, AFTER THE JUMP…

(photo by Wally Skalij for the Los Angeles Times)

CDCR memo regarding same sex marriage between inmates


  1. Randy says

    James: What a stupid story.

    OK, please explain to us why this story is stupid. Is it the writing style? Is it the links to source material? Or did you just magically know this in advance?

    I suspect that the restriction that an inmate may not marry another inmate is unconstitutional. It certainly makes zero sense. If two people married to each other both get imprisoned, are they divorced? Ridiculous.

  2. Hagatha says

    Randy, it didn’t say that an inmate can’t BE married to another inmate, it says that an inmate cannot marry another inmate. There is a difference in wording there. Spreek je Engels?

  3. Grey says

    Married people cannot be compelled to testify against each other. If they allowed inmates to marry each other, it would seriously interfere with crime investigations. Mafia gang members would try to seriously manipulate the system and use sham marriages to avoid getting caught for crimes like murder. Further, if you are a victim of prison rape, your rapist could try and “marry” you and cover up the fact that you’re being abused by the fact that he’s now your husband.

    If your same-sex spouse and you both get put in prison AFTER you are married, you will both be housed separately and in different prisons for security reasons, the same way your opposite-sex spouse would be.

    So, yes, this makes absolute sense. These are not honorable soldiers or Eagle Scouts we’re dealing with. Remember, these are convicted criminals who will see this as a potential tool they can use to work the system.

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