View Full Version : Male inmates sue state seeking same-sex marriage behind bars


cember
04-12-2004, 06:00 PM
Male inmates sue state seeking same-sex marriage behind bars

By PHILLIP RAWLS
The Associated Press
4/12/2004, 5:30 p.m. CT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Two male inmates at Fountain prison near Atmore have sued the state in hopes of getting married, despite a prohibition in state law and no precedent for a married couple behind bars.

"We certainly wouldn't condone this type of marriage," prison spokesman Brian Corbett said Monday.

The inmates, Daruis Chambers and Jonathan Jones, acted as their own attorney in the suit. They argue that the state law banning same-sex marriages violates their constitutional rights of due process and free speech.

"This court must not allow the alleged sexual morals of a society filled with bias to be the scales of balance," they wrote in their five-page lawsuit.

In response, Attorney General Troy King's staff argued that nothing in the federal constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"The law of our state protects and preserves the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and this law is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and with rulings of courts throughout the nation," King said Monday.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year in a Texas case that states can't criminalize consenting sex "common to a homosexual lifestyle." The two inmates cite that as the direction the courts are headed in gay rights issues.

In response, King said prison inmates do retain some constitutional rights, but other rights including sex between inmates may be restricted for safety and other legitimate concerns.

Montgomery Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs Jr. has scheduled a hearing for 3 p.m. Wednesday on the attorney general's request to dismiss the suit.

If Hobbs dismisses it, Chambers and Jones may have to wait awhile before they can live together as an unmarried couple outside of prison.

Chambers, 34, is serving a 10-year sentence for second-degree theft of property and a 15-year sentence for second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. Jones, 27, is serving 20-year sentences for first-degree robbery and first-degree kidnapping.

Both men are eligible to be considered for parole or early release in 2005.

ragland
04-12-2004, 07:48 PM
lol.........

DeniseJJ
04-13-2004, 03:10 PM
Gay Inmates Sue To Marry

(Montgomery, Alabama) Two gay inmates at Fountain prison are suing the state of Alabama for the right to marry.

Daruis Chambers and Jonathan Jones are acting as their own attorneys. In legal papers filed with the court Monday they argue that the state law banning same-sex marriages violates their constitutional rights of due process and free speech.

"This court must not allow the alleged sexual morals of a society filled with bias to be the scales of balance," they wrote in their five-page suit.

It is believed to be the first time that two same-sex inmates have launched legal proceedings to marry.

Chambers, 34, is serving a 10-year sentence for theft and a 15-year sentence for possession of a forged instrument. Jones, 27, is serving 20-year sentences for robbery and kidnapping.

Both men are eligible to be considered for parole or early release in 2005 but until then, they are separated in the prison and authorities will not allow them conjugal visits, even though heterosexual prisoners are allowed such visits by non incarcerated partners.

In the state's response to the suit, Attorney General Troy King's staff argues that nothing in the federal constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"The law of our state protects and preserves the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and this law is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and with rulings of courts throughout the nation," King told reporters Monday.

King said prison inmates do retain some constitutional rights, but other rights, including sex between inmates, may be restricted for safety and other legitimate concerns.

King has asked Montgomery Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs Jr. to dismiss the suit. Hobbs has scheduled a hearing Wednesday.

Lysbeth
04-13-2004, 07:53 PM
even though heterosexual prisoners are allowed such visits by non incarcerated partners.

Huh? I didn't think any of the mainline Alabama prisons allowed conjugal visits?

ragland
04-13-2004, 08:40 PM
believe it or not i got into a fairly heated debate the other day by one of my clients that SWEAR that they have had a conjugal visit just over 3 yrs ago in an alabama prison.....and that its only available at a couple of places in alabama....so yeah im still with you, whats up

LeesLady
04-13-2004, 09:00 PM
Hey Guys as we all know Alabama seems to be able to make their own decisions at each facility.But I've never heard of conjugal visits hear either.It seems though that sometimes we forget,What state is this again?OMG it's ALABAMA,well forget it they do what they want too!!!!

Lysbeth
04-13-2004, 09:20 PM
Well, I know it's been possible at the cattle ranch but I am not sure that it was really "authorized" - don't know enough about it to say. But I have never ever heard about conjugals being allowed at any of the mainline prisons... :hmm:

E1950
04-13-2004, 09:25 PM
no conjugal visits for us. geez i alway's miss out on the good stuff:)

DeniseJJ
04-15-2004, 07:33 AM
Agency looks to block inmate marriage

By Jessica M. Walker (jwalker4@montgomeryadvertiser.com.)
Montgomery Advertiser



Two gay Alabama prisoners have sued the state for the right to get married, but the state attorney general's office wants to block their union.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs presided over a hearing Wednesday to hear argument on the state's motion to dismiss the case.

The two inmates -- Darius Chambers and Jonathan Jones -- are representing themselves in the case and did not attend the hearing. Both are incarcerated at Fountain Correctional Facility.

Chambers and Jones sued the state Jan. 9, "on behalf of themselves and other similar situated couples in the state of Alabama," their lawsuit said.

The attorney general's office responded by asking the court to throw the case out on April 9.

The prisoners' suit claims that Alabama's prohibition of same-sex marriage is a violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

However, Hobbs and the attorney general's office are scratching their heads over what the First Amendment claim could be.

"Have you figured out what the First Amendment claim is?" Hobbs asked Sandra Speakman, who is representing the attorney general's office in the case.

Speakman responded that she had not.

Aside from trying to discern what First Amendment issues the prisoners could be talking about, there wasn't much to the hearing, which lasted less than 10 minutes.

Hobbs did not indicate when he would rule on the case.

Attorney General Troy King contends that the inmates' request to wed is an attack on the state and federal constitutions.

"The law of our state protects and preserves the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, and this law is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and with rulings of courts throughout the nation," King said.

King also noted that prisoners did not have the right to marry or engage in sexual activity, homosexual or otherwise.

The Alabama Department of Corrections forbids any sex act between inmates or between inmates and visitors.

The prisoners' suit claims that the number of gay Alabama residents wishing to marry "is vastly enormous," and that not allowing them to marry was "an irreparable injury." "The court must not allow the alleged sexual morals of a society filled with bias to be the scales of balance, but must ascertain the principles of the U.S. Constitution," the suit said. Alabama state law prohibits same-sex marriage and does not recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Chambers, 34, is serving a 10-year sentence for property theft and a 15-year sentence for possession of a forged instrument. Jones, 27, is serving 20-year sentences for robbery and kidnapping.

DeniseJJ
04-20-2004, 07:44 AM
Judge Dismisses Prison Gay Marriage Suit

(Montgomery, Alabama) A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by two gay inmates at an Alabama prison who sought to marry.

The ruling, however, left the couple the option of renewing the suit once they get out of prison.

In legal papers filed last week, Daruis Chambers and Jonathan Jones, both inmates at Fountain prison, argued that the state law banning same-sex marriages violates their constitutional rights of due process and free speech.

"This court must not allow the alleged sexual morals of a society filled with bias to be the scales of balance," the couple wrote in a five-page brief that they filed, acting as their own attorneys. (story)

But, shortly after the suit was filed, the men filed a second motion asking the judge to place their suit on inactive status until they complete their sentences.

In the new motion, they cited unwanted media "frenzy" and fear of separation by the Department of Corrections as reasons to postpone the lawsuit.

Jones went so far as to send a letter to the state attorney general's office asking to be removed from the lawsuit and saying he was not homosexual, but he did not ask the judge to remove him from the case.

Today, Montgomery Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs Jr., in dismissing the suit, ruled that it can be refiled whenever they wish.

Chambers, 34, is serving a 10-year sentence for theft and a 15-year sentence for possession of a forged instrument. Jones, 27, is serving 20-year sentences for robbery and kidnapping.

Both men are eligible to be considered for parole or early release in 2005. The attorney general's office was prepared to defend the ban on same-sex marriage. The state contends that that no fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists under the constitution, and that inmates are forbidden to engage in sexual activity in prison anyway

lulu
04-20-2004, 08:09 AM
lol.........

i am sorry, I must have missed something, what is so funny?

lulu
04-20-2004, 08:10 AM
Al does not have conjugal visits, at least that is wht my guys tells me. So this is new to me

ragland
04-20-2004, 09:49 AM
lulu what is so funny, is that there is never an end to drama!! Drama rocks on and keeps rolling EVEN in our prison system where gay marriage is concerned......I am a current events buff, and I happen to find more drama in the news than I ever do on a daytime soap opera (allthough I havent watched them since the 80's I am fairly certain that they cant hold a candle to politics and just news in general).....so I hope you can see where the LOL comes in. If not just right it off as someone getting to find a lil humor in all of this world.

lulu
04-20-2004, 09:50 AM
oh, well, thanks for explaing :)