Gay Israeli Prisoners Win Right to Conjugal Visits

Privilege Previously Applied Only to Heterosexual Inmates

haaretz

By Haaretz

Published July 03, 2013.

Gay prisoners will be allowed conjugal visits with their partners under the same circumstances they are granted to heterosexual ones, the Israel Prison Service has said.

In response to a query by Dan Yakir, the legal adviser for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the prison service said gays and lesbians would not be discriminated against with regard to conjugal visits.

The Prisons Ordnance “outlines the rules with regard to exercising discretion in granting conjugal visits to prisoners, and determines, among other things, the rules regarding eligibility for conjugal visits,” wrote Aya Kaminetz, the head of the prisoner and appeals department of the prison service. “To avoid any doubt, the considerations are the same whether at issue are same-sex couples or heterosexual couples.”

The Israel Prison Service has, in the past, stated explicitly that the ordnance does not allow conjugal visits for same-sex partners and the courts have accepted this. In 2006 the Tel Aviv District Court denied a petition by a prisoner for conjugal visits by his male partner. The prisoner appealed to the Supreme Court, but then was released and his appeal was never heard. In 2009 the Central District Court denied a similar petition by another prisoner.

The last known case is that of a Sharon Prison inmate who asked late last year to commune with his partner.

For more go to Haaretz



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