New regulations will allow gay and lesbian prisoners in California to have overnight conjugal visits with their partners, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation began to permit inmates to spend up to three days with domestic partners during the visits, which take place on prison grounds — often in trailers. The new regulations will become permanent later this year.

The changes were prompted by a 2003 law that afforded domestic partners many of the same rights married couples have and by threats of legal action by an inmate at a jail in Vacaville, Calif., who filed a complaint with the ACLU when his request to have his partner visit him was denied. He was finally allowed a visit by his partner in December of 2006.

California is thought to be the first state in the country to allow visits for domestic partners. It's one of only five states — the others are New York, New Mexico, Connecticut and Washington — to permit conjugal visits at all.

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