Prisoners Can Be Alone With Their Partners – Even Same-Sex Partners

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The Israeli Prison Service has announced that same sex couples can now spend time alone following years of struggle by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

 

After many years of stubborn resistance to allowing conjugal visits for prisoners with same-sex partners, the Israeli Prison Service announced to ACRI that according to its new policy, the considerations as to whether to allow a prisoner can receive conjugal visits will be the same for both heterosexual couples and homosexual couples. ACRI began to fight for this back in early 2009 when Chief Legal Counsel Attorney Dan Yakir sent a letter demanding that male and female prisoners have access to conjugal visits even if they are in a relationship with a member of the same sex.

 

Up until now, the prison service’s position was that the provisions of its mandate relating to conjugal visits only applied to heterosexual couples. The courts also accepted this position, when in 2006 the Tel Aviv District Court rejected a petition by a prisoner asserting his rights to conjugal visits on the grounds that the Israeli Prison Service’s commission ordinance concerning conjugal visits referred specifically to spouses as being a man and a woman. The planned appeal to the Supreme Court did not eventuate as the petitioner’s prison sentence reached an end.

 

Attorney Dan Yakir, ACRI Chief Legal Counsel: “ It’s a shame that the transformation in LGBT legal rights has only now reached the prison service. Human rights, including the right to equality, does not end at the prison gate. This is another important step in consolidating the understanding that homosexual relationships are no less worthy than heterosexual relationships.

 

Related Materials

ACRI Key Issues: LGBT Rights

Letter from IPS to ACRI regarding change in policy (in Hebrew)

ACRI’s original letter to the IPS in 2009 demanding equal rights (in Hebrew)

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Categories: LGBT Rights, The Right to Equality

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