Albany, New York -
New York state prison officials have recently changed state correctional regulations to allow conjugal visits for inmates in same-sex marriage or a civil union. They will also be granted leave if a partner is terminally ill.
The regulation is a formalization of a policy initiated in 2008 by Governor Paterson, which required New York State agencies to recognize same-sex marriages and civil unions performed out of state.
Gay rights advocates welcome the move.
"The more the state is consistent with that status of law the better off we are," Empire State Pride Agenda executive director Ross Levi told the New York Daily News.
New York state joins California in allowing same-sex conjugal visits.
Conjugal visits are banned by the Illinois Department of Corrections and in the federal prison system, but are permitted in six states: California, Connecticut, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York and Washington.