The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations confirmed that inmates can get married to someone of the same sex. The department issued a memo saying after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively invalidated Proposition 8's requirement that marriage could only be between a man and a woman in California on June 26, 2013, the department interpreted its code to permit same sex marriages.
"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," stated the memo from Michael Stainer, Director of Division of Adult Institutions.
Inmates have long been allowed to wed in the state of California. However, the CDRC made it clear an inmate cannot marry another same sex inmate "at this time" due to security concerns.
"It only applies to inmates and loved ones on the outside," said prison spokeswoman Dana Simas.
The memo adds the terms "bride" and "groom" shall be interpreted to be gender neutral. And the ceremony has to be performed at the prison.
The Corrections Department order was made Friday but released Monday at the request of state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano. Since the order was released late Monday, no word on whether an inmate had yet requested a same sex marriage.