Two female prisoners in Flanders have made history by becoming the first lesbian couple to get married while imprisoned.
Linda Couvreur, 44, a mother of three, who was convicted of murdering her husband in 2003, and Theresa ‘Terry’ Van Heyst, 43, a convicted arsonist, were married on the 29th of December in Bruges prison.
The newly weds met last April in prison and fell in love. Terry even refused the early release for which she was eligible to stay with her lover.
Terry will be released next year. Linda, who has always denied murdering her husband, will probably serve at least another ten years.
Belgium legalised same-sex marriage in 2003 and 62% of the population support same-sex marriage according to a poll taken last month.
Flemish prisons provide a special room were prisoners can meet their partner for a so-called ‘unhindered’ visit once a month for two hours. The room is a special cell that has a couch that can be converted into a bed.
Linda and Terry have asked to be allowed this privilege but their request was denied by the prison warder. Normally they should be entitled to these conjugal visits.
Lawyers for the couple have started a legal procedure to confirm the right of the couple to meet each other. A judge will rule on the matter later this month.