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Same-sex court case has all Oklahoma prison marriages on hold

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Oklahoma since October of last year. In addition to extending the traditional rights of marriage to those individuals that have attached to heterosexual couples, the development also means that the laws pertaining to divorce now also apply to same-sex couples. Seeing that the laws are duly applied and protect the rights of all involved parties involved is something that can be assured by working with experienced legal counsel.

The right to marry is also one that has been found to be constitutionally guaranteed for individuals incarcerated in Oklahoma prisons -- unless both intended spouses happen to be incarcerated at the same time. But as The Oklahoman recently revealed, that is a right that the Department of Corrections is refusing to honor for either same-sex or heterosexual couples.

Officials say the current policy sets aside two days a year on which inmates can marry. But even that was put on hold earlier this year. The reason officials give is that they are waiting for a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the question of whether states must grant the right to wed to gay couples as matters of equal protection and due process. Prison officials say they will alter their policy depending on which way the court rules. A decision is expected sometime this month.

Civil rights advocates are not happy with the halt -- even if it is temporary. As the director of the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union puts it, "To hit the pause button on marriages performed in prison is completely at odds with what the state of Oklahoma is obligated to do."

What do you think?

Source: The Oklahoman, "Prison weddings in Oklahoma on hold until U.S. Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage," Jennifer Palmer, May 31, 2015

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