Minn. to allow sex offenders in program to marry

Published 9:25 am Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ST. PAUL — Minnesota officials will allow sex offenders in the state’s high-security treatment program to marry one another, a top official of the Minnesota Department of Human Services said Monday.

Three pairs of men in treatment at the state facility in Moose Lake are seeking marriage licenses following Minnesota’s new gay marriage law, which took effect Aug. 1.

“We don’t intend to interfere with their right to marry one another,” Deputy Human Services Commissioner Anne Barry said. Barry’s duties include overseeing the sex offender program.

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The Minnesota Sex Offender Program houses more than 600 offenders considered too risky and dangerous to live in the community. All but one of the offenders in the program are men.

In the past, some clients in the program have married women on the outside, but state law requires one member of a marrying couple to file the license application in person with the county recorder. That has been a sticking point for the three sex offender couples seeking to file their applications because they can’t get to the courthouse under current DHS policies.