The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has agreed that it will no longer bar lesbian and gay prisoners access to overnight family visitation with their registered domestic partners.
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has requested the statewide policy change in response to demands by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a gay man who was told by prison officials that domestic partners were barred from family visits.
"Giving those serving a prison sentence an opportunity to spend quality time with their loved ones has proven to be a critical tool in rehabilitation," said Alex Cleghorn, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.
"We are pleased that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has recognized that lesbian and gay prisoners also form lasting commitments and are more likely to be productive members of society when they are given the opportunity to nurture their relationships through family visits."
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation agreed to the change after the ACLU sent a letter to prison officials on behalf of the registered domestic partner of Vernon Foeller who was serving 18 months for a burglary conviction.
The men contacted the ACLU after their request for a family visit was denied even though they met all the other requirements to have a family visit.
In the demand letter, the ACLU pointed out that it was illegal for the prison to continue to deny domestic partners family visits because California law requires that domestic partners be treated the same as married couples who have access to family visits.
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation agreed with the ACLU and allowed the couple to have a family visit in December 2007, but the permission was not automatically state-wide affecting an unknown number of other gay prisoners.
Read the rest of this article.
Ex-Gay activist James Hartline had this to say,
"If a man who is HIV-infected comes into the prison and has sex with a prisoner, there will be a great increase in the spread of AIDS in the prison," declares Hartline. "I have seen firsthand, the promiscuous behavior of male homosexuals in prison. The gay prisoners will have sex during the overnight visits, get HIV, and then have sex with a multitude of other prisoners, thus spreading the disease," Hartline warns.
Not only is the ACLU assault on the institution of marriage challenging the majority of California voters, it is also creating a catastrophic method for fueling the AIDS epidemic among California prisoners. With a well-documented history of promiscuity, the vast majority of California's gay population cannot be trusted to stop the spread of HIV. The idea that promiscuous homosexuals, potentially infected with HIV, could have sex with incarcerated males, does not sit well with many conservative voters.