Massachusetts corrections officials have denied permission to two male inmates to marry at a state facility for sex offenders, the Boston Globe reports. Essie Billingslea and Bruce Hatt requested permission to marry; Superintendent Robert Murphy denied it because of “very serious security concerns.” Governor Mitt Romney’s agreed with the decision.
The Correction Department has received two other requests for same-sex marriages from inmates since such marriage became legal last May. One case was denied because, like the one disclosed yesterday, it involved two male inmates housed in the same facility. The other request was approved, because it involved the marriage of a female inmate to a woman who is not in prison. Massachusetts inmates have a constitutional right to marry, but the department considers requests on a case-by-case basis. Officials distinguish “between a request for an inmate to marry someone who is also incarcerated, versus someone who is not incarcerated,” said a corrections spokeswoman.