Perhaps I’m missing something but I just don’t see how anything good can come out of New York State’s new policy of allowing conjugal visits between same-sex couples. See article here: http://www.aolnews.com/2011/04/25/new-york-allows-same-sex-conjugal-visits-in-state-prisons/
Intrigued, to say the least, by this idea of permitting same-sex couples to have conjugal visits when one of them is in prison, I did a quick internet search to learn more about the original purpose for conjugal visits between married spouses. Mississippi was the first state, in 1918, and did so as an incentive to get inmates to work hard while in prison (those were the days when prisoners had to work to earn their keep). It proved so successful that other states followed suit, using conjugal visits as an incentive for prisoners to comply with prison rules. Still wanting to know more, I went to the ever-trustworthy Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, here’s how the visits took place: “The visit will usually take place in a structure provided for that purpose, usually a caravan, but sometimes a trailer or small cabin. Supplies such as soap, condoms, tissues, sheets, pillows, and towels may be provided.” Okay, that creates a bit too much of an image for me — particularly as we transition to the topic for today — same-sex conjugal visits.
Perhaps I was wrong (since Wikipedia doesn’t mention it), but one benefit I see in permitting opposite-sex marriage couples to engage in conjugal visits is to steer the male sex-drive away from his fellow inmates. Permitting same-sex conjugal visits doesn’t necessarily serve that purpose. In fact, fostering the sexual expression between two males during conjugal visits would seem to possibly increase problems among the male prison population. Yet, according to Wikipedia, California and New York now permit same-sex conjugal visits. There is still one hurdle for the couples to overcome that could prove difficult given the staggering statistics concerning sexually transmitted diseases among the homosexual population — both partners must be free of any sexually transmitted disease.
The other frustrating aspect about New York’s decision to become the second state to permit same-sex conjugal visits is that New York does not allow same-sex couples to marry or enter into civil unions. Thus, as the highest court in the state of New York affirmed in litigation in 2006, marriage in New York is defined as the union of one man and one woman. Nevertheless, the executive in New York has decided to undermine the laws of the state for purposes of all state prisons.