(LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding a lower court order blocking California’s Prop. 8 ban on gay “marriage,” the California Department of Corrections announced this week that inmates in the state’s 33 prisons may “marry” their same sex lovers, effective immediately.
The only catch? At least for now, due to “security concerns,” prisoners cannot marry each other.
“Effective immediately, all institutions must accept and process applications for a same sex marriage between an inmate and a non-incarcerated person in the community, in the same manner as they do marriages between opposite sex couples,” M.D. Stainer, director of the Division of Adult Institutions wrote in a memo issued August 30.
Admitting that this may require some creative interpretation of state code regulating marriages of inmates, Stainer instructed prison officials that “the terms ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ … shall be interpreted to be gender neutral where necessary (i.e. ‘bride may be a male and ‘groom’ may be a female in a same sex marriage).”
But jailhouse lovers dreaming of a prison yard ceremony will have to put their dreams on hold. Anyone lucky enough to have found love within the prison walls will –at least for now – have to wait until at least one of them is released in order to make things official, according to the memo.
“(I)n furtherance of security concerns and other legitimate penological interests, a currently incarcerated inmate shall not, at this time, be permitted to marry another currently incarcerated inmate.”