Prince Harry's girlfriend Cressida Bonas attended an official Royal engagement for the first time this week at the UK's first We Day. We look back at their relationship over time.
Did Brad and Angelina turn their backs on the gay community?
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are engaged to be married after seven years together and six kids. Some people might ask what took them so long but others who have followed their journey are probably surprised that they're getting hitched at all, because they publicly vowed to support same-sex marriage by saying they wouldn't become Mr and Mrs until every couple in the US had the right to do so.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are to tie the knot
Same-sex marriage in America is decided state by state - the US has fifty states so perhaps they figured that it would never happen (or at least not in their lifetime) so they gave up waiting? If so, can we blame them? Well in some respects, yes we can, as they were never forced to proclaim their intentions so publicly.
Their opinion matters
They're only human, but they're humans with an enormous reach and power to communicate to the masses. Angelina in particular understands how to use her fame to drum up support and highlight important causes; the fact that an immensely famous couple has seemed to turn their backs on the issue of marriage equality could negatively impact on the cause - their fans could quite rightly think, if Brangelina don't care anymore, is it still worth my support?
If you think we're being hard on them, they're not just a couple in love who made a few flippant comments when asked about a wedding date. Brad is an outspoken marriage-equality activist who has campaigned to get same-sex marriage legalised across the country. Last year he released a statement supporting efforts in New York to grant marriage rights to all its residents, saying, "It is each American's Constitutional right to marry the person they love, no matter what state they inhabit. Thanks to the tireless work of so many, someday soon this discrimination will end and every American will be able to enjoy their equal right to marriage."
Their fans could quite rightly think, if Brangelina don't care anymore, is it still worth my support?
As early as 2006 he said "Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," and he's also on record for saying, "When someone asked me why Angie and I don't get married, I replied, 'Maybe we'll get married when it's legal for everyone else.' I stand by that."
Was it just an ostensibly harmless way to deflect questions about a wedding? Perhaps Brad's aim was to bring gay rights to the forefront at the same time as getting reporters off his back. Two birds, one stone. But if he wasn't prepared to stand by his remarks he shouldn't have made them so publicly, and so many times.
Brangelina: doing it for their kids?
Doing it for the kids?
So why did they change their minds? Their children have had a lot to do with it apparently as both have said that their older ones are keen for them to have a wedding. "The kids ask about marriage. It's meaning more and more to them. So it's something we've got to look at," Brad said last year.
Are they saying that gay marriage isn't an important issue anymore? We don't believe they are but that's how their decision to marry could be construed by the wider public. Brange should have been more careful about associating their own personal affairs with a political issue because now that they've caved in and let their hearts rule their heads, it makes all their declarations look wishy-washy.
World affairs are intrinsically tied to their family - Angelina first decided to adopt Maddox after visiting slums in Cambodia and she's been to warzones in Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan to shine a light on humanitarian causes, so it wasn't out of character for the couple to speak out on a political issue such as gay marriage rights.
But if they used the cause to deflect questions about a marriage date, that's very poor taste. If they were annoyed by the constant interrogations about their marital status, they could have made a joke about it and said they'd get hitched when Simon Cowell denounced his material possessions and became a monk. Why tie their relationship to an issue if they didn't truly have the conviction to follow through with their promise?
The couple's gay fans and gay-rights groups as a whole could be forgiven for feeling forgotten by Brangelina when the engagement was announced. GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) were gracious about the reversal, saying "We congratulate them on their engagement and thank them for continuing to speak out about the inequality that so many gay and lesbian couples face today." But Hollywood gossip columnist Brian Moylan isn't so forgiving; he has said that he believes that their about-face has damaged the course. "I'm sorry, Brangelina, but real fighters for civil rights don't buckle under pressure when it gets hard," he said.
A flippant decision?
Brad and Ange could never fathom how it feels to not be allowed to marry, so it was flippant of them to suggest that they were in any way like a gay couple fighting for the legal right to get hitched. Because they can, and they will, possibly as soon as the summer when they've apparently chosen the same date that Brad's parents married, 11 August.
Maybe they just caved from pressure from their kids or even the media, or maybe they realised the 'error' of their ways in hedging their relationship status bets on something that they possibly, deep down, knew would never change. However, let's not deny the fact this couple is one of the most loved-up in Hollywood and, regardless of their prior promises, deserve happiness, whatever that may mean to them. And things do change. At least the gay community can respect that.
Plus, Angelina does need to be seen in a big, white dress...
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Lilly Morris. Are you deliberately trying to sound stupid or is it natural for you?
What has the English language done to you that you want to torture it so much?
Gay people have the right to form a legal partnership already....as they should have. The only reason they want to call it marriage is to attack the church. I'm no church goer but if gay partnership already has equal rights under law (which it does in the U.K) what's the problem?
Reema?????? Im not comparing gay marriage to starvation you moron Im saying there are far more important issues facing humanity than gay marriage for example...... Starvation, global warming, the Aids virus in Africa, war around the world, child abuse, corruption, the global recession and the price of food, and fuel, deforestation, the pollution the the seas, north korea, Iran, the middle east, Tibet and the rise of authoritarian China to mention but a few...........it angers me that gay marriage gets so much media attention when it really doesn't mean anything at all to 90 per cent of earths population.
Pull your head out of your back side and open your eyes.
P.s if you thumbs down this statement you are saying that gay marriage is more important than all these issues and you are therefore a prat!
Why is this news?
Me thinks there are graver problems in the world than this.
Does anyone care? let them get married its their life. just coz they made as tupid statement doesnt mean we should hold it agaisnt them.
I mean who hasnt said things they dont actually mean. at the end of the day everyone will do what they want, regardless of others
I'm a gay man in a civil partnership and have no wish to get "married" or even call it marriage it simply isn't important to me. Also my family are Christian and gave me and my partner every support in both coming out and being together. Without them I don't know what Id do.
So don't you dare say Christians are all anti gay when they are the most tolerant and active members of every community in my experience.
You act pro gay rights but you make stupid generalisations about Christians which even I an atheist find offensive, you are no better than the homophobes.
Shame on you all. They third post on this forum is spot on we have equal rights already and I feel very honoured and lucky to live where I do when I do.
And guys - remember that Gay marriage isn't yet legal. So have some respect for the law. Gay partnerships are legal. If a church will not marry two men you must respect their decision.
It is comical how many pro gay people are anti polygamy. Should we change that law too?
Someone - Gay people are forcing others, they are trying to force the church to change, and trying to change laws that will affect millions in a negative way.
Sad Richard in the sense that no-one cares if a man who is a single parent can only have 2 weeks off work to care for his child whereas a woman can have a year, and a gay man that has adopted can also have a year off. That is just one of the unequal rights.
Sophie. Equal rights are a myth. A tool of propaganda. You try telling any Muslim that the God given rights that men have are equal to women and see how you fail. I guess what gay people need is their own god, and their own church, then they can crack on.
We live in a meritocracy. People are not equal. Some are faster, smarter, stronger.
Sam Elliss (below) is a case in point. The whole premise of his argument is that he felt someone had the temerity to put lables on gays. The first thing that he wrote was, 'I am a gay man,' conveniently forgetting that he had actually labled himself.
So far nobody has advanced a point by starting 'I am heterosexual,' there is no need so, by default, Sam has made my point below by making sure we all knew that, in some way, because he announces he is gay it not only makes his argument but proves him special and different.
If you read between the lines of any post that admits to being gay you find that it's the gays that believe they are well balanced. They are. A chip on each shoulder.
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