The Loving Couple
Well now, what's the buzz?
80-year-old Charles Manson has a license to marry Afton Elaine Burton, a 26-year-old woman who visits him in prison.
Won't this be a delightful May-December affair?
Burton "fell in love" with Manson when she was 16, (she claims) not for his notorious, murderous exploits but instead for his gentle philosophy toward the earth. Manson is a proponent of ATWA, an environmental viewpoint that stands for air, trees, water, animals.
Afton Burton, who goes by the name "Star," has been in touch with Manson since she was 17, and she moved from her home in Illinois to Corcoran, California in 2007. Burton reportedly has been visiting Manson in jail on Saturdays and Sundays since then.
Burton believes Manson is innocent. "I'm completely with him, and he's completely with me. It's what I was born for, you know. I don't know what else to say," Star said.
Burton runs a few pro-Manson websites, said she would like to work on his case, so marrying him would allow her access to information and documents restricted to family. “There’s certain things next of kin can do,” she told the Associated Press.
California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton confirmed to the AP that the license had been transmitted to the prison.
Thornton said each California prison designates an employee to be a marriage coordinator who processes paperwork for an inmate's request to be wed. In most cases, she said, the department of corrections approves of such weddings as "a tool of family reunification and social development." But Manson is "a unique case."
Thornton confirmed that Manson can have a wedding at the prison and invite an officiate from outside the prison to perform the ceremony.
Burton said the wedding might have happened earlier if Manson did not have "some situations" at the prison.
Thornton explained that in February, Manson had three violations for possession of a weapon, threatening staff and refusal to provide a urine sample. Further details on the violations were not immediately available.
Burton said the prison holds marriages on the first Saturday of each month. She expects to be married in an inmate visiting room at the prison.
("Charles Manson Gets Wedding License." Associated Press. November 18, 2014)
Oh, the glory of love... NOT. Cuckoo... Cuckoo. This marriage license makes me madder than a one-legged stripper doing a lap dance. Thank God at least something is still right in the universe: Because Manson is serving a life sentence, the couple will not be allowed to have conjugal visits, even after they are married.
Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.
The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."Why do some state laws prohibit same-sex couples from getting married when Charles Manson, of all people, can legally tie the knot with this less-than-stable, headline-grabbing young woman? The denial is a travesty of justice. The Supreme Court must correct this discrimination.
Legal arguments for excepting same-sex marriage from the definition of marriage as a civil right have rested on the argument that the state has a compelling interest in restricting same-sex marriage that justifies limiting the right to marry (an argument that was also used to justify restrictions on interracial marriage), and/or that laws permitting civil unions provide a substantially equivalent standard to marriage that satisfies equal protection standards.
Where is the reasoning used by the state for allowing a convicted mass murderer the right to marry and denying that right to free, law-abiding gay couples? This is appalling.
Hey, "Star," or "Afton," or whatever you call yourself today, grab your fifteen minutes of fame and make your money by writing your book about being the spouse of Crazy Charlie and a proponent of his "gentle philosophy." Don't forget to carve that attractive, loving swastika into your forehead to seal the vow. You are doing a wonderful service to yourself, not to me.
And, hey, Highest Court in the Land, check out the latest proof of the great imbalance in civil rights. Once and for all, realize that those who oppose same-sex marriage base their understandings on judgmental principles not applicable to states' interests. And, please as time passes without your final judgment on the legality of same-sex marriage, think of a happily married Manson.
How can you justices sleep at night? We all know what occupies old Charlie's dreams now, don't we?
"Believe me, if I started murdering people...
there'd be none of you left!"