TIME Supreme Court

New Strategy Against Gay Marriage Divides GOP 2016 Field

US Supreme Court Declines To Hear Appeals On Same-Sex Marriage Cases
Alex Wong—Getty Images People come out from the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Activists want to take on the Supreme Court

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa—The U.S. Supreme Court’s expected decision this spring that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry will, for most, mark the end of a decades-long culture war.

But a small circle of Christian activists aren’t giving up yet — and they are already winning over some Republican presidential candidates to their last-ditch effort. Resting their hopes on an effort to redefine the role of the federal judiciary, the activists’ argument takes on a central tenet of modern American politics: that the Supreme Court has the final say on what is the law of the land.

“There are three branches of government,” Andrew Schlafly, a lawyer and conservative activist, told TIME in an interview. “If the Supreme Court overreaches on an issue, the other two branches are there to check and balance it. The Supreme Court can make that decision, but it can’t enforce its own orders in a state. That’s up to the Legislative and Executive branches.”

It’s an argument with a long history in American politics, Schlafly says. He cites the Supreme Court’s 1857 decision in the infamous Dred Scott case, which found that freed slaves were not American citizens and therefore had no standing to sue in court. “The Republican Party said no, we’re not going to go along with that,” Schlafly said. “And the next President was Abraham Lincoln and he did not enforce it.”

Most mainstream constitutional scholars find that argument confounding at best, with criticism from both liberal groups and the conservative Federalist Society.

“It was established a long, long time ago that the federal judiciary has the power to interpret our Constitution and to determine what government actions are constitutional and what are unconstitutional,” said Jeremy Leaming of the progressive American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. “This is pretty basic law-school type of stuff.”

If the Supreme Court decides that same-sex-marriage bans violate the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, then that’s the end of the story, he added. “States can’t choose and pick which parts of the Constitution to uphold and which not to.”

But regardless of how the argument is received in legal circles, it’s already having a significant effect on the Republican presidential primary, where a number of candidates are working overtime to earn the support of social conservatives who are opposed to same-sex marriage.

Last week in Iowa, where evangelical voters hold particular sway, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee emphatically argued that the high court’s ruling would not be the end of the debate.

“There is no such thing as judicial supremacy,” he said at an event organized by the conservative Family Leader group. He added that “unelected black-robed judges” can overturn laws, but even when they do, “then it goes to the legislature and the Executive Branch.”

After a speech at the same summit, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum told TIME that he agrees with Huckabee. “The idea that the courts can just wave their magic wands and not only invalidate laws but pass new ones is a novel concept in the concept of judicial review,” he said. “The courts in my opinion have far exceeded their Article III authority and they need to be pushed back upon by both the Executive and the Congress.”

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who has argued nine times before the Supreme Court, stopped short of saying that as President he would refuse to enforce a high court decision that found same-sex-marriage bans unconstitutional, but he wrote in a paper provided to the Conservative Republicans of Texas that he would denounce such a ruling “for what it is. Lawless activism, subverting the Constitution.” He also called on conservatives to support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as “limited to one man and one woman” and to consider removing any Supreme Court justice that had “disrespected marriage.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has walked a similar tightrope. “Of course, court rulings must be respected, but it is the duty of the President to defend the Constitution, even when the courts won’t,” he wrote in a statement to Iowa conservative radio host Steve Deace.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul did not say that he would ignore a Supreme Court decision but called for term limits on “out of control, unelected federal judges.”

Other Republican presidential candidates have chosen to take a different route, noting their disagreement with state and federal courts’ pro-gay-marriage decisions without actively trying to undermine them.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said gay marriage was a “settled issue” in his state, while Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said court rulings must be respected. Both dropped appeals in their home states after losing same-sex-marriage cases. “For us, it’s over in Wisconsin,” Walker told reporters last fall. “The federal courts have ruled that this decision by this court of appeals decision is the law of the land, and we will be upholding it.”

After a Florida court declared same-sex marriage legal, former governor Jeb Bush said, “We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law.” All three governors have faced tough questions from some evangelical voters after conceding the fight.

Schlafly predicted that those candidates would lose support from the conservative Christian base in a Republican primary.

“I think voters are going to be extremely interested in whether a candidate is willing to stand up against overreach by the federal courts on marriage,” he said. “I think it will be a big issue — I think it will be the biggest issue.”

The Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage promises to have particular salience in the first caucus state of Iowa, where a powerful evangelical bloc has long pushed back against the idea of judges defining marriage laws. After the state supreme court ruled in favor of gay marriage in 2009, conservative activists led a successful campaign to deny three justices another term on the bench.

Some conservatives in Iowa are now hoping for a similar backlash against a federal decision. “It’s the Congress that makes the law, it’s the President that executes the law, it’s the people that can amend the Constitution,” said Iowa conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, who hosted Huckabee, Jindal, Santorum and Texas Governor Rick Perry. “The courts don’t get to do any of those.”

Last month, Deace, the Iowa radio host, asked a slice of the broad field of potential Republican candidates — Cruz, Huckabee, Walker, Perry, Paul, Rubio, Santorum, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal and Donald Trump — to respond to an essay by John C. Eastman, a conservative professor of law, in which he made the case for ignoring a Supreme Court decision that found same-sex-marriage bans unconstitutional.

Perry, Trump and Jindal did not respond to Deace’s query. Jindal told TIME that he would wait for the court’s decision before weighing in on potential next steps.

Constitutional lawyers on both sides of the ideological divide have pushed back against these arguments. “It’s just fantastical to point to Dred Scott and the Civil War in reference to these cases,” said Leaming of the American Constitution Society. “It’s fantastical and it’s also quite frankly irresponsible.” But for some, at least, it may be good politics.

Read next: Transcript: Read Full Text of Sen. Marco Rubio’s Campaign Launch

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TIME Barack Obama

See Obama’s 20-Year Evolution on LGBT Rights

  • 1996: Obama supports domestic partnerships and same-sex marriage—at least according to the paper trail 

    Then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, shown in a 1999 file photo.
    Chicago Tribune/MCT/Getty Images Then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, shown in a 1999 file photo.

    In one campaign questionnaire that Obama filled out when running for the Illinois state Senate, he states that he supports domestic partnerships and adding sexual orientation to the Human Rights Act, the state’s civil rights law. He also says that he supports affirmative action for gays and lesbians.

    In another questionnaire for Chicago LGBT newspaper Outlines, Obama says he supports same-sex marriage. In 2009, a copy of his typed responses was unearthed and printed in the Windy City Times. “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages,” reads the questionnaire bearing his signature at the bottom. Later, Obama aides will dispute that he actually filled out the questionnaire himself.

  • 1998: Obama is ‘undecided’ about same-sex marriage

    Barack Obama Windy City Times
    Windy City Times Windy City Times, Vol. 24, no. 17

    Seeking reelection in Illinois, Obama fills out another questionnaire for Outlines, which the Windy City Times published in 2009. This time he says he is “undecided” whether he supports legalizing same-sex marriage or repealing an Illinois law prohibiting it.

  • 2004: Obama supports civil unions and civil rights for gays and lesbians—but insists that marriage is not a basic civil right

    “Marriage is between a man and a woman,” Obama says in an interview on Chicago public television during his U.S. Senate campaign, adding, “but what I also believe is that we have an obligation to make sure that gays and lesbians have the rights of citizenship that afford them visitations to hospitals, that allow them to transfer property to each other, to make sure they’re not discriminated against on the job.”

    He says homosexuality is not a choice and “for the most part, it is innate.” Obama distinguishes marriage from other civil rights, saying, “We have a set of traditions in place that I think need to be preserved.”

  • 2004: Obama opposes the federal Defense of Marriage Act while running for a U.S. Senate seat in Illinois. He also opposes same-sex marriage

    Barack Obama, US Senate candidate for Illinois, is greeted by delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Boston on July, 2004.
    Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images Barack Obama, US Senate candidate for Illinois, is greeted by delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Boston on July, 2004.

    The Defense of Marriage Act, signed by Bill Clinton, allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages legally established in other states. It previously prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, until the Supreme Court ruled that provision unconstitutional in 2013.

  • 2006: Obama questions his own opposition to same-sex marriage

    Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" is displayed at a bookstore in New York City on July 14, 2008.
    Chris Hondros—Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" is displayed at a bookstore in New York City on July 14, 2008.

    In his memoir The Audacity of Hope, Obama recounts a story of how a lesbian supporter called him up after he had said he opposed same-sex marriage in radio interview, citing his “religious traditions” as part of the reason. She had been hurt, feeling he suggested that she and people like here were “bad people.”

    He wrote: “And I was reminded that it is my obligation, not only as an elected official in a pluralistic society but also as a Christian, to remain open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided … that Jesus’ call to love one another might demand a different conclusion.”

  • 2007: During the Democratic primary, Obama reaffirms support of ‘strong civil unions’ that offer all the rights that come with opposite-sex marriage

    During an August debate sponsored by groups like the Human Rights Campaign, he also says, “individual denominations have the right to make their own decisions as to whether they recognize same sex couples. My denomination, United Church of Christ, does. Other denominations may make a different decision.”

    Obama implies that he personally sympathizes with LGBT people, saying, “When you’re a black guy named Barack Obama, you know what it’s like to be on the outside.”

  • 2008: As a presidential candidate, Obama pledges to repeal DOMA and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ which banned the service of openly gay troops in the U.S. military

    Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama talks with Pastor Rick Warren during the Saddleback Forum in Lake Forrest, Calif. on Aug. 16, 2008.
    Alex Brandon—AP Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama talks with Pastor Rick Warren during the Saddleback Forum in Lake Forrest, Calif. on Aug. 16, 2008.

    He also says, repeatedly, that he is against gay marriage. “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix,” he tells pastor Rick Warren at the Saddleback Presidential Forum in April.

  • 2009: Obama signs the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act

    President Barack Obama hugs James Byrd Jr.'s sister, Louvon Harris during a White House reception commemorating the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, in Washington on Oct. 28, 2009.
    Manuel Balce Ceneta—AP President Barack Obama hugs James Byrd Jr.'s sister, Louvon Harris during a White House reception commemorating the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, in Washington on Oct. 28, 2009.

    The hate crime law, which Congress had first introduced in 1997, gives the Justice Department jurisdiction over crimes of violence in which a perpetrator has selected a victim because of sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as many other characteristics.

  • October 2010: Obama starts ‘evolving’ on gay marriage

    At a Q&A session with progressive bloggers, Obama says that while he has been “unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage,” times are changing and “attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.”

  • December 2010: Obama signs a bill repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

    President Barack Obama signs the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 into law at the Department of the Interior in Washington on Dec. 22, 2010.
    Jewel Samad—AFP/Getty Images President Barack Obama signs the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 into law at the Department of the Interior in Washington on Dec. 22, 2010.

    The same month, he reiterates at a press conference that his stance on same-sex marriage is “constantly evolving.” By July, the Commander-in-Chief formally certifies that the military is ready for the open service of lesbian, gay and bisexual troops. Open service for transgender troops remains verboten.

  • February 2011: Obama instructs the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in court, saying that he believes it is unconstitutional

    “While both the wisdom and the legality of [DOMA] will continue to be the subject of both extensive litigation and public debate, this Administration will no longer assert its constitutionality in court,” Holder said in a statement.

  • May 2012: Obama becomes the first president to support same-sex marriage

    After Vice President Joe Biden announces his support for same-sex marriage, Obama is forced to move up a planned announcement of his change in position. In an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, Obama says he has changed his mind. “At a certain point,” he said, “I’ve just concluded that — for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that — I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

  • July 2014: Obama signs an executive order protecting LGBT employees working for government contractors

    President Barack Obama holds hands with Edie Windsor after she introduced him during the Democratic National Committee LGBT Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City on June 17, 2014.
    Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images President Barack Obama holds hands with Edie Windsor after she introduced him during the Democratic National Committee LGBT Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City on June 17, 2014.

    The order applies to a group of workers that, at around 28 million, accounts for about one-fifth of the American workforce. “America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people,” he says. The federal government, as well as the majority of states, do not have blanket prohibitions on LGBT discrimination.

  • December 2014: The Obama Administration interprets the Civil Rights Act as supportive of LGBT rights

    The Department of Education articulates a clear stance on gender identity, while the Department of Justice announces that all its attorneys will interpret the federal ban on sex discrimination to include discrimination against transgender Americans.

    “Under Title IX,” a memo from the Department of Education reads, a school “must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity in all aspects of the planning, implementation, enrollment, operation, and evaluation of single-sex classes.”

    “This important shift will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status,” Attorney General Eric Holder said.

  • January 2015: Obama becomes the first president to use the word ‘transgender’ in a State of the Union address

    President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2015.
    Mandel Ngan—Pool/Getty Images President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2015.

    “As Americans, we respect human dignity,” he said. “That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

  • April 2015: Obama says that conversion therapy for minors should be banned

    US President Barack Obama makes his way to board Air Force One under a rainbow upon departure from Kingston, Jamaica on April 9, 2015.
    Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images US President Barack Obama makes his way to board Air Force One under a rainbow upon departure from Kingston, Jamaica on April 9, 2015.

    Conversion therapy attempts to “correct” homosexual or transgender feelings. Obama’s response comes after thousands signed a White House petition in honor of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender girl who committed suicide by walking into traffic after being forced to go through such sessions, according to notes she left. Two states, California and New Jersey, have outlawed the practice.

    Read Next: Meet the New Generation of Gender-Creative Kids

TIME Indiana

Indiana’s ‘No Gay Wedding’ Pizza Parlor Raises $842,592 From Supporters

The campaign initially asked for $25,000

The Indiana pizza parlor that sparked outrage after its owners said they would not cater gay weddings because of their religious beliefs has raised more than $840,000 from supporters.

The Walkerton, Ind. pizza parlor entered a national debate over Indiana’s contentious Religious Freedom Restoration Act when its owners said in an interview that they would serve anyone regardless of sexual orientation but would not cater a gay marriage. “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no. We are a Christian establishment,” co-owner Crystal O’Connor told local news outlet WBND-TV Tuesday evening.

The comments drew a backlash on social media and prompted the owners to close their store.“I don’t know if we will reopen, or if we can, if it’s safe to reopen,” O’Connor told TheBlaze TV.

But supporters started a GoFundMe campaign initially asking for $25,000, and by Friday the now-closed campaign had raised $842,592 from more than 29,000 people.

According to the staff of the Dana Show, a conservative radio talk show that supported the campaign, the pizza parlor will now work with a pro bono accountant.

TIME 2016 Election

Democrats Caught Up in Controversial Indiana Religious-Freedom Law

Mike Pence
Michael Conroy—AP Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announces that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services has approved the state's waiver request for the plan his administration calls HIP 2.0, during a speech in Indianapolis.

Obama, Clinton have backed similar religious-freedom bills

Indiana’s new religious-freedom law, which has prompted calls for a state boycott because it might permit discrimination against gays and lesbians, was made law by a Republican governor and Republican legislature. But the controversy could also ensnare leading Democrats like President Barack Obama, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who previously supported bills with similar effects years ago.

“The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into federal law by President Bill Clinton more than 20 years ago,” said Indiana Governor Mike Pence on ABC’s This Week, defending his state’s actions by pointing to similar federal legislation. “Indiana properly brought the same version that then state senator Barack Obama voted for in Illinois before our legislature.”

The Indiana law prohibits the state from enacting statutes that “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. Critics argue it could be used to allow businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian Americans in the state, prompting criticism from executives at companies like Apple, Salesforce.com and the NCAA, which will host the men’s Final Four basketball tournament in Indianapolis next weekend.

Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and aides to President Obama have also criticized the law. “Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn’t discriminate against ppl bc of who they love,” Clinton tweeted over the weekend.

But the Indiana law was modeled on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) introduced by then Representative Chuck Schumer, who is now a senior Democratic Senator from New York, and signed into law in 1993 by then President Bill Clinton. The bill passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 97 to 3 in 1993. “The power of God is such that even in the legislative process, miracles can happen,” President Clinton joked at the time of the bipartisan consensus.

Unlike the federal law, which is focused on restricting government action to protect religious freedom, the Indiana version has a broader scope, potentially giving new rights to claim religious beliefs for private parties, like wedding-cake vendors who do not want to serve gay couples.

As an Illinois state senator in 1998, Obama also voted in favor of a version of the new Indiana law. Years after that law passed, Illinois passed an explicit ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation, making clear that the law could not be used to deny service between private parties. That provision is not on the books in Indiana.

Despite weighing in on other controversial legislation in states, including this month’s passage of an anti-union bill in Wisconsin, Obama has not commented on the Indiana law, leaving his aides to critique it.

“Look, if you have to go back two decades to try to justify something you are doing today, it may raise some questions about the wisdom of what you’re doing,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Sunday on ABC’s This Week. Obama ducked a question on the Indiana law Saturday from reporters before departing on a two-day golf vacation to Florida.

The 1993 federal RFRA formed the underpinning of last year’s Hobby Lobby decision at the Supreme Court, which allowed some employers claiming religious objections to avoid providing contraceptive coverage to their employees as required by the Affordable Care Act.

In a contentious interview with NPR’s Terry Gross last year, Hillary Clinton repeatedly called same-sex marriage a state issue when explaining her decision to reverse her opposition to such unions after leaving the State Department. She has yet to weigh in on whether she believes same-sex marriage should be protected at the federal level, even as the Supreme Court is set to hear cases that would do just that in the coming months.

Asked by Gross if her views on gay rights had changed since the 1990s, Clinton said, “I think I’m an American, I think that we have all evolved, and it’s been one of the fastest, most sweeping transformations that I’m aware of.”

David Axelrod, a former top political aide to Obama, wrote in his book published last month that Obama believed in same-sex marriage before he ran for the White House, but hid that position for political reasons.

 

TIME LGBT

Puerto Rico Drops Opposition to Gay Marriage

"Today is a great day for my island," wrote Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin.

The Puerto Rican government announced on Friday that it would drop its opposition to same-sex marriage.

Justice Secretary Cesar Miranda said at a news conference that the Puerto Rican justice department would no longer oppose a suit challenging the constitutionality of the socially conservative island’s ban.

“Our constitutional system does not allow discriminatory distinctions such as that contained in the Civil Code concerning the rights of same-sex couples,” Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said in a statement posted to his office’s website. “Everyone knows my religious beliefs, but it is not for political leaders to impose our beliefs. We must push for progress in civil and human rights for all citizens equally. As Governor of Puerto Rico, that’s my duty.”

Puerto Rico native Ricky Martin, who has advocated for gay rights since he announced he was gay in 2010, said on Twitter that he was grateful for the move.

In a lengthier statement, the singer called Padilla a “leader who is not afraid of the present challenges.”

“Today is a great day for my island,” he wrote. “How proud I am to live a country of equality. I love you Puerto Rico.”

TIME Italy

Italian Politician Looks to Highlight Gay Rights by Getting Married in Canada

Nicola Vendola attends the 'Che Tempo Che Fa' Italian TV Show on March 18, 2013, in Milan, Italy.
Stefania D'Alessandro—Getty Images Nicola Vendola attends the Che Tempo Che Fa Italian TV Show on March 18, 2013, in Milan

“From their elevated social rung they don’t really understand what it means to live in a country where homophobia kills"

Nicola Vendola, one of the first openly gay politicians in Italy, has announced his plan to marry his Canadian partner in Canada, as Italy has no current plan to legalize gay marriage.

The 56-year-old LGBT activist, who is also the left-wing representative for the traditionally conservative southern region of Puglia, is giving serious thoughts on starting a family and having children, Agence France-Presse reports.

“Everything is going to change, I’m going to marry Ed,” Vendola said about his partner Eddy Testa.

Although Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has announced plans to allow same-sex civil partnerships, the influential Catholic Church vehemently opposes extending this to nuptials.

Vendola also clashed with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Italy’s influential gay fashion-designer duo, who recently drew the wrath of pop legend Elton John by describing children born to gay parents via IVF as “synthetic babies.”

“From their elevated social rung they don’t really understand what it means to live in a country where homophobia kills and the lack of basic rights weighs heavily on many people’s lives,” said Vendola.

[AFP]

TIME Religion

3 Other Christian Denominations That Allow Gay Marriage

The Presbyterian Church (USA) formally recognized same-sex marriages Tuesday

On Tuesday the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to redefine marriage as “a commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman,” formally allowing same-sex marriages within the church. The vote to modify the church constitution follows last year’s recommendation from the church’s General Assembly.

Here’s are other major churches in the U.S. that allow same-sex marriage:

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America allows same-sex couples to get married, but leaves it up to individual ministers of congregations to decide, according to a 2009 resolution. “There is nothing that prescribes who a congregation pastor can marry or not marry, so long as it is consistent with state law,” ELCA Secretary David Swartling said in 2012.

The Episcopal Church established a rite of blessing for same-sex couples in 2012 and prohibited discrimination against transgender people. It has welcomed gay people since 1976, when its General Convention decided that “homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church.” Technically it has no official policy sanctioning same-sex marriage, but it will take up the issue in June.

The United Church of Christ has allowed same-sex couples to get married since 2005. At the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Atlanta, it “affirm[ed] equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender and declares that the government should not interfere with couples regardless of gender who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities and commitment of legally recognized marriage.” It was the first major Protestant denomination to do so.

TIME celebrities

Lena Dunham Won’t Marry Boyfriend Until Gay Marriage Legal Across U.S.

"The idea of having a celebration that can't be fully shared among all the people in my life and all the people that we love just doesn't really feel like a celebration at all"

Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff have been dating for three years, but don’t expect them to get married anytime soon.

The actress and producer, 28, revealed to Ellen DeGeneres that she doesn’t intend to wed until gay marriage is legal in all 50 states.

“Well, it’s something that … the idea of having a celebration that can’t be fully shared among all the people in my life and all the people that we love just doesn’t really feel like a celebration at all,” Dunham shared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday.

“So, until that’s something that everyone can join into with no sense of being left out on any level, politically, emotionally, it’s just not something that we’re gonna do,” she said.

Earlier this year, Dunham and Antonoff were dogged by engagement rumors when she stepped out wearing a ring on her engagement finger. However, it was just a friendship ring she shared with her friend and co-executive producer on Girls, Jenni Konner.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME 2016 Election

Likely Jeb Bush Campaign Manager Steps Back from Gay Marriage Advocacy

Jeb Bush speaks at CPAC in National Harbor, Md. on Feb. 27, 2015.
Mark Peterson—Redux for TIME Jeb Bush speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. on Feb. 27, 2015.

A decision to shift roles in advance of the presidential campaign

David Kochel, the campaign manager-designate for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has stepped back from his outspoken role in support of same-sex marriage as he prepares to lead the presidential campaign.

Kochel, an Iowa-based veteran of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns, signed a Supreme Court friend of the court brief when justices overturned California’s gay marriage ban in 2013. But this week Kochel’s name was off the list when more than 300 Republicans signed another amicus brief this week in support of legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

In an email to TIME, Kochel, who is currently working for Bush’s Right to Rise PAC, said he was stepping back from his public role. “In my full time role at the PAC, I have decided not to sign advocacy petitions of any kind,” he said.

After the 2012 election, many former Romney aides, including Kochel, joined Republican operatives and a handful of congressional lawmakers in signing the amicus brief. Kochel spoke openly about the issue in local and national news interviews.

TIME reported on the full list of amicus signers on Thursday. Among those who dropped off between 2013 and 2015 were actor and director Clint Eastwood and former Romney advisor Ben Ginsberg. It was not clear why they did not sign on once again.

In an interview Thursday, Ken Mehlman, who organized both amici briefs, declined to comment on conversations with potential signers.

A staunch social conservative who supported a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, Bush has long been opposed to same-sex marriage. But after a court cleared the way for such unions in his home state, Bush urged “respect” from all sides.

Bush consultant Mike Murphy, who is expected to remain a part of the Right to Rise Super PAC, as opposed to joining the presidential campaign directly, signed the amicus brief.

TIME Know Right Now

Know Right Now: 300 Republicans Support Gay Marriage

300 veteran Republicans filed a friend of the court brief to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage.

Watch #KnowRightNow, and click here for more on this story.

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