Today, Time Magazine posted an opinion piece by Bryan Moylan suggesting that Brad and Angelina getting married is a slap in the face to Gay Americans. In it he suggests that because known philanthropists Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie stated in Esquire back in 2006 that they would, “consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able,” that their choosing to do so now in some way hurts other people.
While I do admit that the public statement, and the symbolic gesture of not getting married while forming a beautiful family unit called an enormous amount of attention to the issue, it is hard for me to see Mr. Moylan’s stinging article as anything but akin to the assumptions made by those opposed to the marriage of LGBT individuals.
The key to the acceptance of marriage equality, the key that convinces heterosexuals that there is nothing wrong with it, really is the basic fact that who someone chooses to marry is a choice that should be made only by those two individuals. Allowing gay marriage has zero impact upon my life, and if someone could take the time to convince me of how I am losing something by marriage of two other individuals, I may just find the wherewithal to care. Since no one has, as of yet, been able to do just that, I have always supported gay marriage.
Now, Bryan Moylan has decided to use the same arguments being used against gay marriage in a campaign to slam Brad and Angelina for getting married. He says that it meant so much to gay Americans that Brad and Angelina were standing by them. I’m sure that it means a lot to those opposed to gay marriage that same gendered individuals don’t marry one another. He slams them by saying that since they married in France, they probably thought, “Oh, well, if we do it in France maybe the gays won’t notice,” as if those two could go to get ice cream and not be noticed.
We are at a point in the struggle for marriage equality where public opinion is no longer the issue. There will always be people who support it, and there will always be those who do not. At this point, as Mr. Moylan correctly states, there are 19 states where gay marriage is legal, and until the United States Supreme Court takes a stand, the rest of the country is in limbo. Somehow, I think that the nine black-robed men and women of SCOTUS will be unimpressed by the argument that Brad and Angie support it, so it must be good for the country.
There is, however, a really good reason for the couple to have chosen to get married. In a 2011 appearance on Nightline, Angelina talked about how their children had questioned why they weren’t married. She said that they had seen Shrek marry Fiona, and wanted to know why Mommy and Daddy weren’t married too. Shouldn’t the couple put their wishes, and the wishes of their six children ahead of the desires of people who don’t even know them? Of course they should, and if we were talking about absolutely any other two individuals in the world, Bryan Moylan would agree.
It is important to remember that the marriage of two individuals impacts NO ONE outside of their immediate family. Marriage should be available to anyone who feels that it is the right situation for their family. People should be able to get married without the fear of being judged by the community around them. Brad and Angelina have done more than their share to make the world that we live in a better place for all of us. However, the ball is no longer in their court, it’s time for SCOTUS to pick up the slack.