TIME Crime

Sister of South Carolina Shooter Crowdfunds For Cancelled Wedding

Funds will be for "dream honeymoon," but she'll donate 10% to A.M.E. Church

When Dylann Roof allegedly killed nine people at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., last month, he didn’t just destroy families and prompt a national reckoning with the racial legacy of the Confederate flag. He also ruined his sister’s wedding, which was scheduled for four days later.

Dylann Roof’s sister Amber was scheduled to marry her fiancee Michael Tyo on June 21, according to a registry on TheKnot.com. Amber Roof was the one who called authorities after she saw her brother’s face on the surveillance footage from the church, the Washington Post reports, and Roof’s fiance Tyo lives in Shelby, N.C,, near where Roof was captured.

The wedding was cancelled because of the massacre, but Amber and her fiancee had started a GoFundMe page to help them recoup lost wedding expenses and go on a “dream honeymoon.” The website was live as of Thursday morning, but had been deleted by early Thursday afternoon.

The GoFundMe page called “A Fresh Start for Michael and Amber” appeared to have been created by Amber Roof. On it, she wrote:

As many of you know Michael and I had to abruptly cancel our wedding day, due to the tragedy that occurred in Charleston. June 21st was suppose to be the happiest day of our lives. It is the day every girl dreams of, it was the day we dreamed of. We had each other, we have the perfect venue, and we had our vows ready to be read. We were ready! We had planned out every detail for months and months. It was going to be the PERFECT day!

Our wedding day was suppose to be the most important and special day of our lives. It was suppose to start our lives together with our new family. Our day was the exact opposite. Our wedding day was full of sorrow, pain, and shame, tainted by the actions of one man…

We cancelled our wedding to protect our family and mourn the lives of those lost…

She noted that “money cannot replace the wedding we lost and our perfect day, however it will help us to create new memories and a new start with our new family.” Roof wrote that she wants to start her new family on a “positive note.”

Money raised will be used to cover lost wedding costs, to pay bills, and to send us on our dream honeymoon. 10% of all funds raised will be donated to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The page had raised just over $1,500 of the $5,00o requested before it was taken down Thursday afternoon.

TIME Civil Rights

Montana Polygamist Seeks ‘Legitimacy’ After Supreme Court Ruling

"Ours is a happy, functional, loving family," Nathan Collier tells TIME

On Tuesday, Nathan Collier went to the Yellowstone County Courthouse in his hometown of Billings, Montana, to register to get married to his partner Christine. The problem? Collier has been married to wife Victoria since 2000. And under Montana law, bigamy is outlawed except for faith reasons; Collier is not marrying Christine and Victoria due to his religious beliefs, making his marriage license illegal under bigamy laws.

“Everyday, we have to break the law to exist as a family,” Collier said in an interview with TIME. “We’re tired of it.”

The Montana trio argue that under Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision recognizing same-sex marriage across the country as legal, their polygamous relationship should be legally recognized and guaranteed the same rights as heterosexual and homosexual marriages. “If you read the justice’s statement, it applies to polygamists,” Collier said.

He’s referring to the dissent by Chief Justice John Roberts, who argued that the reasoning for giving same-sex couples the right to marry “would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.”

Spurred by Roberts’ words, the three decided to go to the courthouse Tuesday armed with the Supreme Court ruling. County clerks initially denied to give a marriage license upon learning that Collier’s marriage with Victoria had not been dissolved. But the clerk returned afterwards, saying that they would refer to the county attorney’s office before making a decision. The county’s chief civil litigator is looking to have a formal response by early next week:

Collier and his two “wives” have a long and complicated history since meeting in 1999. In 2000, Collier legally married Victoria; he and Christine had a “religious ceremony” that year as well. After breaking up, Christine legally married another man; that marriage ended in divorce in 2006. In 2007, Collier and Christine again had a religious ceremony, and Christine joined Victoria and Collier in their home. Together, the family has five children.

The way Collier, Victoria, and Christine were treated at the courthouse made the family feel “violated,” Collier said. “We feel entitled for a legal legitimacy and for [the Yellowstone County Courthouse] to deny this is a violation of our civil rights … We feel the marriage equality law applies to us.”

Collier says that all his family seeks to do is be legally recognized and not live in fear anymore. If that means that he can bring polygamous relationships to the national conversation, Collier says he’d be willing to be arrested or sue the state if his license gets denied. “Ours is a happy, functional, loving family,” he said. “I’m not trying to redefine marriage. I’m not forcing anyone to believe in polygamy. We’re only defining marriage for us. We just want legitimacy.”

TIME celebrities

8 People Who Can’t Handle the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Garner Split

How Twitter fans reacted to their divorce announcement

While Greece nears economic rock bottom and puppies perish in China, over in the States a crisis of equal proportions is unfolding: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are splitting up.

Though a handful of Twitter users decided to keep their cool and sent good wishes to the ex-couple — and their three kids — most fans whipped out their teary-eyed emojis and caps-lock, and sobbed out their heartbreak into 140 characters. Indeed it was only last week that the Twitter-verse was chanting #LoveWins, but this week, well, it seems love is dead.

Read Next: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s Divorce Is the End of an Era for Celebrity News

TIME relationships

Jimmy Kimmel Asked Little Kids What They Think About Gay Marriage

Hot debate for minds of all ages

Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to sanction marriage equality in all 50 states, Jimmy Kimmel turned to one important group to hear their thoughts on the subject: kids.

Responding to those who think explaining the change in marriage laws would be difficult, Kimmel sent a producer and cameraperson out into the field for a Jimmy Kimmel Live segment to find out what kids know about marriage equality. For the most part, the kids Live found had no problem understanding marriage in any form. But they certainly weren’t lacking for opinions on the institution of marriage itself.

Some think there’s a best time of day to marry, others are planning to wait until 30 before they wed, and one thinks it’s fiscally irresponsible to marry at all. But even if it’s not for them, all of the kids seem to agree on one thing: everyone should have the right to marry… as long as they’re old enough, of course.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Marriage

Here Are Places Women Can’t Take Their Husband’s Name When They Get Married

In many countries, a woman taking her husband's surname is a breach of local custom, or even illegal

While women in the U.S. are increasingly keeping their maiden names, that’s nothing new just across the border. In Quebec, all women have been keeping their maiden names since 1981, whether they want to or not.

Provincial law in Quebec forbids a woman from taking her husband’s surname after marriage. The rule was instated soon after the creation of the Quebec Charter of Rights, which went into effect in 1976, and is intended to extend the charter’s statement on gender equality to names.

And Quebec isn’t the only place. In Greece, a similar law requiring all women keep their maiden name was enacted in 1983 during a wave of feminist legislation.

The tradition goes back even further in France, which has had a law on the books since 1789 requiring that people not use a name besides the one given on their birth certificate. Today, women cannot legally change their surname after marriage, but both men and women can accept the other’s surname for social and colloquial purposes.

Italian women have more options. Although they cannot legally change their surname, which has been true since 1975, they have the option of tacking their husband’s surname onto their surname.

Women in the Netherlands are always identified in documents by their maiden name and can only take their husband’s name under special circumstances. Belgian law requires that one’s surname does not change after marriage.

In Malaysia and Korea, it is local custom for women to keep their maiden names, and although there is no law stating that they cannot take their husband’s surname, it is a relatively foreign concept. Custom dictates that women keep their surnames in many Spanish-speaking countries as well, including Spain and Chile.

In contrast, Japan requires that married couples take one of the spouses’ family names, which, unsurprisingly, means that 96% of married Japanese women assume their husband’s last name.

Quebec’s law has caused little controversy over the past three decades, but there have been cases of women expressing frustration that they cannot take their husbands’ names even if they desire to do so.

In the U.S., on the other hand, new analysis from the New York Times found that only 30% of American women in recent years have opted to keep their maiden names, though that number is higher than it has been in the past.

TIME relationships

Women Keeping Their Maiden Names More Often, Report Finds

It may not be for the reason you think

More women are opting against saying “I do” to changing their last names.

According to a new analysis by New York TimesThe Upshot blog, about 30% of women in recent years have decided to keep their maiden names in some way after getting married. The Upshot finds about 20% keep their last name in full, while 10% have opted to hyphenate their two names.

The number of women who have decided not to take on their husband’s last name has risen since the 1980s and 1990s, when only 14% and 18% of women kept their maiden names, respectively. Women most likely to keep their names are high-income urban women—like those featured in the Times wedding section, among whom some 29.5% have kept their maiden names in recent years, up from 16.2 percent in 1990.

Not every woman opts to keep her surname in the name of gender equality, the newspaper reports. “It’s not necessarily a feminist reason, but it’s just my name for 33 years of my life,” said Donna Suh, who married last year. “Plus, I’m Asian and he’s not, so it’s less confusing for me to not have a white name. And on social media I thought it might be harder to find me.”

[NYT]

TIME Appreciation

Husband Plans Second Wedding for Wife After She Loses Her Memory

After a serious car accident, Justice Stamper can't remember her wedding

Justice and Jeremy Stamper are planning their second wedding, since Justice can’t remember their first.

In August 2014, just weeks after the duo were married, Justice was in a severe car accident that resulted in some memory loss, PEOPLE reports. Even though Justice has looked at photos and watched videos of the event, nothing has come back to her.

“She said to me, ‘I don’t want you to be mad, but I do not remember the wedding,'” Jeremy told PEOPLE. “I, of course, was very upset, but I told her right then and there, ‘We will do it again.'”

The couple, who live in Bristol, Tenn., are now planning the celebration, but this time they are asking for donations on a GoFundMe page so it can be even more spectacular.

Read the full story at PEOPLE Magazine.

MONEY Saving

More Than Half of Americans are Delaying Major Life Events Because of This

15026_FF_PostponeBigDecisions
iStock

Some say money doesn’t buy happiness, but a lack of money might actually delay it.

A new study shows more than half of Americans have put off major life events like retirement and marriage because of financial worries in the last year. And that number has grown significantly since the recession, according to a poll from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

When asked whether they delayed an important life decision because of money woes, 51% of respondents answered yes, up from only 31% in 2007.

A closer look shows the number of Americans putting off certain life events for financial reasons has more than doubled. For example, 24% put off going back to college last year, up from only 11% before the financial downturn, and 18% put off retirement, compared with only 9% in 2007.

Many also put starting a family on the back burner: 12% put off getting married, compared with 6% in 2007; 13% delayed having kids, up from 5%; and 22% put off buying a home, compared with 14% before the housing bust.

The number one financial worry that held people back from these milestones? A lack of savings, cited by 60% of survey respondents.

“If you don’t have adequate savings in place or you’re having trouble paying your bills, it may make sense to hold off on major life decisions until you’re on more solid financial footing,” explained Ernie Almonte, chairman of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.

But there are many ways people can make sure financial worries don’t get in the way of life goals, Almonte added. Among them: sticking to a monthly budget to keep you living within your means, starting an emergency fund to help with unexpected costs, and increasing the amount you save from each paycheck.

 

TIME

Looking To Stay On Your Partner’s Insurance? It May Be Time To Get Married

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield health benefits cards are arra
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield health benefits cards are arranged for a photograph Tuesday, September 27, 2005.

Domestic partner benefits may become a lot less common.

It’s official. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of legalizing gay marriage across the U.S., opening up the rite of commitment to any person regardless of their sexuality.

It’s a historic moment–and the last thing that’s on many peoples minds is insurance. (Though, quick reminder! The Supreme Court also made an important decision yesterday to uphold Obamacare subsidies.)

But, now that the right to marry is extended to everyone, many companies could start streamlining their benefits packages and take away the perk of insurance coverage for domestic partners, according to analysis by Aon Hewitt. If you want to stay on your significant other’s employer-sponsored insurance policy, now may be the moment to pop the question.

Such a move could affect both gay and straight couples who may opt to be committed partners but not marry, which is more common for the Millennial generation. Nearly 9.2% of Millennials co-habit with a partner, nearly twice the rate of Gen Xers at the same age, according to the Pew Research Center.

About 77% of employers currently offer same-sex domestic partner health care coverage, according to data from Aon Hewitt. Such benefits were a way for companies to even the benefits playing field for couples who couldn’t legally wed. But many companies could opt out of that offering, streamlining their benefits (and costs) to only cover spouses–now that all people have equal access to marriage.

Some companies, including Delta Air Lines and Verizon Communications, had already started to eliminate domestic partner benefits in states where gay marriage was legal prior to the Supreme Court ruling. Those policies will likely be extended now that marriage is widely accessible, making insurance benefits available only to legal spouses–gay or straight.

“The main idea is to make things fair for everyone,” Verizon spokesman Ray McConville, told the Wall Street Journal. “Currently, if you’re a guy living with a longtime girlfriend or vice versa, you don’t have the ability to get health insurance for your partner.”

Streamlining benefits helps companies ease the cost of administrative functions, especially when it comes to applying different standards to employees in various states, said Aon Hewitt.

Other companies, like Google, IBM and Dow Chemical, offer domestic partner benefits to all couples and don’t envision getting rid of the perk anytime soon. They see it as a way to attract top talent, recognizing that some people simply prefer not to marry.

TIME Supreme Court

Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Same-sex couples now have right to marry in all 50 states

(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.

Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court’s 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.

The outcome is the culmination of two decades of Supreme Court litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court’s previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996. It came on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions.

“No union is more profound than marriage,” Kennedy wrote, joined by the court’s four more liberal justices.

The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration. But some state officials and county clerks might decide there is little risk in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The cases before the court involved laws from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Those states have not allowed same-sex couples to marry within their borders and they also have refused to recognize valid marriages from elsewhere.

Just two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law that denied a range of government benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

The decision in United States v. Windsor did not address the validity of state marriage bans, but courts across the country, with few exceptions, said its logic compelled them to invalidate state laws that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

The number of states allowing same-sex marriage has grown rapidly. As recently as October, just over one-third of the states permitted same-sex marriage.

There are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute, which tracks the demographics of gay and lesbian Americans. Another 70,000 couples living in states that do not currently permit them to wed would get married in the next three years, the institute says. Roughly 1 million same-sex couples, married and unmarried, live together in the United States, the institute says.

The Obama administration backed the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Justice Department’s decision to stop defending the federal anti-marriage law in 2011 was an important moment for gay rights and President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage in 2012.

Read next: Marriage Equality Is an Older Idea Than You Think

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