Minnesota authorities have answered a petition from three same-sex male couples who are being treated in the state's sexual offender program but want to marry: Yes.
The petitions come on the heels of the state's passage of a same-sex-marriage bill. The couples' unions will be a first for Minnesota in terms of taking place among those who are incarcerated, The Daily Mail reported.
"We don't intend to interfere with their right to marry one another," said Deputy Human Services Commissioner Anne Barry to the Star-Tribune. She said that all the men met each other during participation in the program, which currently treats 700 sexual offenders who have served their prison terms but are thought to have "sexual psychopathic personality" disorders, The Daily Mail reported. All but one are men.
They're still incarcerated but are given more freedoms than inmates — and are actually called clients, not convicts, The Daily Mail said.
The men who are poised to marry have violent sex-offender pasts. One was convicted of raping a 15-year-old boy. He also confessed to abusing two dozen boys between the ages of 8 and 16 and to abusing his cousin 40 times or more, court records indicate.
Another served jail time for sexual misconduct with females between 13 and 15 years old. And yet another served time for sexually abusing his 4-year-old brother, The Daily Mail reported.
Program officials are trying to figure out the logistics of the men's unions — how to obtain the applications, how to arrange for security transportation, for example.
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