In the eye of the hurricane: homosexual conjugality and the conjugal visit right in the Female Prison of São Paulo Capital

In this article I analyze the conjugal visits rights inside the Female Prison of São Paulo Capital, Brazil. These visits are characterized in the Brazilian Penal Execution Legislation as the main way of maintaining family relationships and marriage for persons deprived of liberty. My aim is to comprehend which relations have been considered familiar and conjugal by the administrative staff of the female prison unit. This question became even more complex after May 5, 2011 when the Supreme Court ruled the legal equalization of Heterosexual and Homosexual Civil Unions. I argued that this event reiterates a logic that undertakes violence to sexual relations which are not considered conjugal or love relations. On the other hand, the Supreme Court decision responds to a desire of adequacy of people who maintained homosexual love relationships that, until May 5, were not recognized by the State. The dispute for conjugal visit rights is in the center of this dilemma which is related to the recognition demands; however, this struggle does not challenge the historical violence perpetrated to (homo)sexuals in female prisons.

Prisons; Conjugal Visits; Homosexual Civil Unions; Sexual Policies


Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero - Pagu Universidade Estadual de Campinas, PAGU Cidade Universitária "Zeferino Vaz", Rua Cora Coralina, 100, 13083-896, Campinas - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 19) 3521 7873, (55 19) 3521 1704 - Campinas - SP - Brazil
E-mail: cadpagu@unicamp.br