Did Brangelina Break Their Gay-Marriage Pledge?

by Andrew Johnson

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s secret marriage over this past weekend has their fans thrilled, but it also has its share of critics. Jolie and Pitt had long vowed to not tie the knot until same-sex marriage was legal nationwide, but, after ten years, evidently felt compelled to move forward with their wedding plans — in part for the sake of their kids.

Time’s culture reporter Nolan Feeney had a piece up hours after news broke criticizing Brangelina’s decision to get married. Feeney called it “frustrating news for the LGBT activists who’d prefer their straight allies not backtrack in their commitment to the cause of marriage equality.” Elsewhere at Time, Brian Moylan titled his piece “Brad and Angelina Getting Married Is a Slap in the Face to Gay Americans.”

Others took to Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction:

Jolie and Pitt indeed didn’t live up to their original standard — even after New York moved to recognize same-sex marriage, Pitt explicitly stated that it was not enough for him and Jolie to reconsider their stance. But it appeared they reconsidered: In a 2012 Hollywood Reporter interview, Pitt said that they made that pledge “some time ago,” and admitted that “I don’t think we’ll be able to hold out.”

What changed between now, when half the country still lives in states where same-sex marriage is not legal, and then? Feeney notes that Pitt may shed a light as to why the two had a change of heart: their six children.

“The kids ask about marriage,” Pitt told USA Today in 2011. “It’s meaning more and more to them. So it’s something we’ve got to look at.”

​Jolie and Pitt aren’t alone in making such a vow and later reneging on it: Actress Kristen Bell and actor Dax Shepard made a similar promise before getting married last year. While it seems like Bell left some wiggle room at one point by saying they were waiting until their home state of California recognized same-sex marriage, the two eventually wedded after parts of the Defense of Marriage Act were struck down in last year’s United States v. Windsor Supreme Court ruling.

For the time being, there are still a handful of celebrities who are sticking by those promises, including Lena Dunham and Charlize Theron.

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