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New York state officials are granting conjugal visits to gay inmates who are married or in civil unions, reports the New York Daily News. Inmates will also be more likely now to be allowed out of prison to visit a terminally ill loved one.
"If they seek a furlough based on the partner, it's likely it would be granted," said Peter Cutler, spokesman for the Department of Correctional Services of the leave policy, which previously applied to only heterosexual couples.
More than two years after then-governor David Paterson ordered New York state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages in 2008, the state board of corrections has formalized the policy changes and entered them into the state register, the document listing recently changed or added rules by state agencies. Cutler did not explain why the changes took as long as the did.
Empire State Pride Agenda executive director Ross Levi welcomed the policy change, saying, "The more the state is consistent with that status of law the better off we are."
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