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Graf: Boycott Brangelina

BY L.C. GRAF | SEPTEMBER 05, 2014 5:00 AM

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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally tied the knot. I know, it’s crazy. Her dress was beautiful, the veil was custom-made (of course, because why wouldn’t American royalty have custom-everything?) and it had pictures her children drew all over it.

The most beautiful part of their wedding was not their kids following behind and it wasn’t the French sunrise. No, it was the fact that all people in America can now get married.

Oh, wait a second, they can’t. That’s right. Natural-born, adult citizens who have been in relationships lasting anywhere from decades to 72 days, can’t get married.

In 2006, Pitt told Esquire magazine that he would consider marriage “when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able.” This is something that I have thought about from time to time. When I was younger, I thought of Brangelina’s example as one a lot of people should take. If LGBTQA+ rights are something you care about (which any liberty-loving American does), then it would make sense to stand next to them and protest current American marriage law until they could do it, too.

While personally I think the institution of marriage is lame and I’m, hopefully, never going to do it (sorry, Grandma), I still have the ability to get drunk and be married by Elvis in the back room of some gas station, and it would actually be a legitimate marriage. This is something I often take for granted. But even though I have no desire to exercise this right, marriage is an integral part of American life, and denying an American this right because of whom they love is injustice.

It’s not the only issue, of course, there is so much more to equality, and there is so much more to do. It’s not correct to declare “marriage” the turning point for LGBTQA+ rights, but to deny people the legal recognition of being with someone they love is … well, it’s taking away the freedom to exercise a basic American right in the land of the free.

But celebrities who make a point to stand up for the rights of the oppressed know very well the power of their words. An example: when Beyoncé threw it down at the Video Music Awards, and stood in a glowing silhouette of power and womanhood with the word “FEMINIST” behind her, 99 percent of America recognized that in order to be “Flawless” you got to be a feminist. (At least, I’m hoping. If you don’t follow Beyoncé’s every word, then perhaps you aren’t a good human being after all, or at the very least, we probably shouldn’t be friends.)

It has been eight years since Pitt said those comments to Esquire (although, from my memory, the couple said similar comments numerous times). The two wed in France, which is the 13th country worldwide to have legalized same-sex marriage. I’m supposing the two thought it would be a nice “loophole.” They did get married somewhere where everyone can get married, after all. But I don’t think it’s enough.

Celebrities play a huge role in influencing public opinion and effecting social change. And when they go back on their word and set a bad example, we need to call that out and hold them to the same scale like we would our politicians (wait, do we even hold our politicians up to a scale?).

So do the right thing America — boycott Brangelina.


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