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Posted by: LONEWOLF | 2007/07/11

Found on News24

'I do...
09/07/2007 13:02
Pretoria - About 600 gay couples in male and female prisons across the country want to get married. It has been established that the Department of Correctional Services was inundated by applications for gay marriage. No gay marriage has yet taken place as prisoners have to go through a lengthy application process, to get permission from the national commissioner and the minister. The department is now investigating the practical implications of having married gay couples in prisons, said a reliable source. It could mean, for instance, that married prisoners insist on wearing clothes of the opposite sex. Or that they demand other "privileges" such as being held in the same cell and having a certain amount of privacy.
Sex happens in prison
Correctional Services spokesperson, Manelisi Wolela, did not return calls for comment about the story. The wedding applications are the result of the Civil Union Act, which came into effect on December 1, enabling gay couples to get married legally. Professor Marinus Wiechers, retired Unisa rector and constitutional expert, said the fact that gay couples were incarcerated did not mean they did not have the constitutional right to marry. He said the department could not refuse to allow such marriages. He said if a couple were refused permission to get married, they could approach the high court for an interdict to force authorities to let them get married. Wiechers said gay marriage in prisons would have far-reaching practical implications and that courts would understand when it came to the demands of gay married partners. "But the marriage must go ahead." The department said on its website that an HIV/Aids policy was in place at prisons to teach prisoners about the disease and how it is spread. Condoms are supplied to inmates as well. Deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, said last year that it would not help to say that sex was not allowed in prison. "We have to accept it happens and make condoms available," she said.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi again LoneWolf and thanks for this post.

I agree that this is at best suspect journalism. The mere notion that "...married prisoners insist on wearing clothes of the opposite sex..." is nothing short of dumb and reinforces the crazy notion that gay relationships are structured according to gender roles with a 'him' and a 'her'.

Condoms are available in prisons but in some facilities inmates have to request a condom from a uniformed staff member! That staff member is often female. How's that for allowing for spontaneity? And condoms are all very well ,but water-based LUBRICANT is not distributed. They just don't seem able to get their act together.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Nikki | 2007/07/12

Lonewolf,

I see your angle and agree with you that rights become questionable if someone is in prison. It is very complex indeed but as NF says, in this country prisoners have the right to vote!!! LOL, That in my opinion is laughable but then again, a violent killer has the right to his/her life regardless of having taken away the life/lives of others. Just where does one draw the line?

I think it is necessary to have a serious look at the categories of crime and why people are in prisons. I mean it makes no sense to have a person in jail for stealing money right along side a bloodless killer and condemn both the same way!

People that are in prison for a short term as oppose to prisoners behind bars for life?

There is much more thinking to be done about this I think.

As for the gay marriages in prison, I am not sure what the politics are behind this. Hetero marriages are allowed but that does not mean that the couple now lives together in the same cell. In my opinion it has nothing to do with "privileges" as it has to do with being allowed to marry under the new Civil Union act. In that regard I agree, they should be allowed, why not? These "concerns" about privileges is a cover up because just as in the case of hetero marriages the same privileges will apply if any.

As for "dressing up" there are Transgendered people in prison and it is their right to free gender expression as it is anyone's right to free sexual orientation expression. These are issues NOT addressed as yet.

Nikki

Reply to Nikki
Posted by: NatureFreak | 2007/07/12

Hi

The people in prison have rights to vote....

So if their opinion is respected enough to vote, they sure as hell cant deny them to marry!!!

We dont know enough to just merely say YES or NO to this!

All I know is that I wanted to be treated the same way as straight couples are treated by the same people who feel they are right and we are not, so I am the last person to deny someone else the same right, whether I agree with what they have done or not!!!

I am sure the straight people felt this way about us "sinners"!!!

It's complex!

Reply to NatureFreak
Posted by: LONEWOLF | 2007/07/12

Hi Nikki. I thought my post would get more attention than it did. What bothers me to some extent is the matter of Constitutional Rights. Having rights is fine, but taking rights too far (and how far is that?) might be a problem. Prisoners in jail are there for a reason and were removed from society for a period of time by a Competent Court. Their “rights” have been suspended. If we start to let them get married to each other, where do we draw the line? What about all kinds of other rights they (or other prisoners) might suddenly start to demand. My personal opinion is that it should not be allowed for the simple reason that they are in prison and therefore should be denied the rights they would normally have in society. If one starts to meddle with this, you are going to open up an endless Constitutional discussion that I really do not think we can afford. Of course the answer lies with the Constitutional Court. As Professor Wiechers said it will lead to all kinds of practical implications as well. Further, won’t some of these guys simply use such a right simply to get some sort of preferential treatment? If this finally goes to the Constitutional Court, I hope they are wise enough to get an answer that not only protects our Constitutional Rights, but also is rational. Tough one, I would say. I agree with you on the matters of AIDS and the ludicrous remark about clothing. I hope we get more reaction on this, it could be interesting.

Reply to LONEWOLF
Posted by: Nikki | 2007/07/12

I agree with you Existenz.

It is an old dirty trick of anti-gay propaganda to always associate gay with sex, drugs, porn, crime, etc.

Also interesting in this report is the reference to gays wanting to "wear clothing of the opposite sex" ????

It is out of context and I would like to know what the Gay organisations are DOING about this "report"???

Nikki

Reply to Nikki
Posted by: Existenz | 2007/07/11

Why are they conflating sex, AIDS and gay marriages? Irresponsible journalism.

Reply to Existenz

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