Monday, July 28, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 22 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Judge tells state to stop blocking prisoners' right to get married

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 02:23 p.m. HST, Aug 02, 2012

A federal judge ruled today that the state cannot interfere with prisoners’ right to marry.

U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway issued a 28-page order granting a court order requested by four women who said in their lawsuit that state Department of Public Safety officials repeatedly denied their applications to marry their fiances, who are inmates in an Arizona prison.

The preliminary injunction issued by the judge orders state officials to stop interfering with their rights to marry, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, which represented the prisoners.

“We are delighted that our clients can finally marry their fiances,” said Daniel Gluck, ACLU senior staff attorney. “This ruling, however, is just beginning: the ACLU is fighting a long-term pattern of unconstitutional denials of prisoners’ marriages based on subjective reasons well outside the authority of government.”

He said DPS policy changes, threats of lawsuits and a “crystal-clear ruling” from the U.S. Supreme Court could not stop the pattern.

“Sadly, it took this lawsuit to force DPS to follow the law regarding treatment of inmate marriage requests, and we want to make sure that DPS changes its policies — not just for our clients, but for any individual who seeks to marry now and in the future,” Gluck said.

The four women filed the lawsuit in May. It alleged prison officials with unlawful discrimination in deciding who has the right to get married.

Mollway earlier denied requests by the state to dismiss the lawsuit.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 22 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
goodday wrote:
because prisoners should have equal rights as every other citizen.... good job aclu
on August 2,2012 | 02:20PM
bluhawaii74 wrote:
Because no rights should be forfeited when you are convicted of a crime and sent to prison? Interesting concept. How about the right to be set free? Should they have that as well?
on August 2,2012 | 02:40PM
Ronin006 wrote:
The women are in prison in Hawaii and the men in prisons in Arizona. I want to know how the marriages are to be performed. Will it be by proxy or will some stupid judge now order the state to fly the inmate to some location where the couples can be married in person?
on August 2,2012 | 03:32PM
issuesgal wrote:
The women aren't in prison. They want to marry inmates in Arizona. I looked it up. The inmates in Arizona will not be transported anywhere. The person on the outside will be responsible for all costs including her own travel to the prison in Arizona and all costs related to marriage licensing in Arizona. She will also have to pay for and provide the person who will officiate the ceremony inside the prison.
on August 6,2012 | 08:55AM
BlueDolphin53 wrote:
S*A, this is just a poor article plain and simple. I've read it twice now and can't find a word about WHY the state has been denying these marriges. If they don't want to comment, say so. If you couldn't reach them, say so. If you just want the ACLU to look good, say so. Please....do some real reporting.....
on August 2,2012 | 03:56PM
inverse wrote:
They do that with rail stories as well to insure the story favors the rail project. In this story they probably did that to make the inmates appear more like innocent victims of the State.
on August 2,2012 | 07:41PM
issuesgal wrote:
It's apparent they didn't even try to call PSD and ask. Every other news outlet had this statement from the AGs office because they did the work to get the information.... "The Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Public Safety are working together to draft a letter, which will be sent to the affected inmates tomorrow. The letter will advise the inmates that the Federal District Court has issued an order, with which the state will comply, so that they may immediately proceed with their marriage preparations. It will also explain that they will not need to submit any further application before getting married. The Department of the Attorney General will further review the court's order in the coming weeks, and determine what further action, if any, to take."
on August 2,2012 | 10:24PM
Descartes22 wrote:
Nice catches for these women. And sounds like the convicts were not suing to marry these fine ladies.
on August 2,2012 | 04:04PM
Solfan wrote:
Well, you know the aclu's motto... "freedom can't protect itself", ya know, "freedom" as in JAILS/PRISONERS/CONVICTS and "civil liberties" as in CRIMINALS/JAILBIRDS/LOSERS.
on August 2,2012 | 04:15PM
Graham wrote:
Will the ACLU and the Judge pay for the Welfare Benifits, Health benefits, Section 8 Benefits, etc. etc. etc.when these couples have children?
on August 2,2012 | 04:17PM
aomohoa wrote:
It makes me sick. Let the ACLU pay for these losers why should our taxes paid for anything but incarceration.!
on August 2,2012 | 04:27PM
NoFire wrote:
Get married on your own time, not when your doing time!
on August 2,2012 | 04:54PM
aomohoa wrote:
The drunk that hit that family in Waianae a few months ago had just got out of jail. He was in jail many times. When he was out he kept making babies that the tax payers are all paying for.
on August 2,2012 | 05:25PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
What a waste of taxpayer money. if you're in jail, you shouldn't be allowed to do anything but serve your time. The marriage thing is bogus and some sort of ploy to get them back in Hawaii to serve their time, that's all.
on August 2,2012 | 05:57PM
inverse wrote:
You make a good point. I was told you have to be in Hawaii to get married in Hawaii, so sounds like these con artists are trying to force the State to send or transfer these Arizona prisoners back to Hawaii to serve their sentences and get married.
on August 2,2012 | 07:59PM
issuesgal wrote:
I looked it up. The Arizona inmates will not be transported anywhere. The person on the outside will be responsible for all costs including her own travel to the prison in Arizona and all costs related to marriage licensing in Arizona. She will also have to pay for and provide the person who will officiate the ceremony inside the prison. And they don't get any special visits as husband and wife.
on August 6,2012 | 08:57AM
soundofreason wrote:
Prisoners CHOSE to reject the rules of society - THAT'S why they're IN prison. They can again have access to those rules WHEN they get out. They should be busy contemplating why they're such a piece of
on August 2,2012 | 06:43PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Let them get married. If the spouses have jobs use their medical insurance to cover their husbands.
on August 2,2012 | 08:35PM
Mana07 wrote:
Glad to hear the disgust! This is just a taste of Obama's America. Why will you still vote for him and the Hawaii Left wingers?
on August 2,2012 | 08:48PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
There is no Aloha for the victimes of these criminals. We need to stop providing benefits such as this to convicted criminals.
on August 2,2012 | 09:06PM
9ronboz wrote:
And let them go on a honeymoon thereafter!
on August 2,2012 | 10:28PM
Solfan wrote:
And let them live very close together, because one will probably murder the other. Half of the problem solved.
on August 3,2012 | 12:51PM
Breaking News