NY Prisons OK Same-Sex Conjugal Visits
Partners must be married or in civil unions
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 25, 2011 2:43 AM CDT
Same-sex partners in marriages or civil unions can now officially have conjugal visits in New York prisons.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(Newser) – New York prisons will now officially allow gay inmates to receive conjugal visits from same-sex partners—so long as the couple are in a civil union or same-sex marriages. The new rules will also allow a partner to take a prison furlough if their lover is terminally ill, reports the New York Daily News. Some 20 of the state's 67 correctional facilities allow conjugal visits. The same-sex visitation policy has generally been followed since 2008, but it's now been made official because it has been noted by New York's correctional agency in the state Register. Gay rights groups hailed the move. Ironically, gay marriage is not legal in New York, so prisoners' same-sex marriages would have to have occurred outside the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said legalizing gay marriage is a priority of his administration.