Guess what Dear Abby thinks you should do with your antigay wedding guests

Should guests who are known to be antigay be allowed at your wedding anyway?

That’s the quandary pitched to Dear Abby in a letter from a worried bride who doesn’t know what to do about a somewhat sticky situation.

Related: Dear Abby Comforts Lesbian Grannie With Jerk Son

It’s led to a very memorable answer.

“My fiancé and I are getting married in a year,” writes Bride For Marriage Equality: “MThe question from “Bride for Marriage Equality”:

We have some very close gay friends, and I have gay family members on my mom’s side. The majority of our family is gay-friendly, but a few of them on my father’s side are very open about their dislike of the LGBT community.

Our ceremony will be at a Unitarian Universalist church because we love that they are supportive of the LGBT community and want everyone to feel comfortable and accepted on our big day. I’m terrified that my family members will do or say something to hurt or offend guests at our wedding who have same-sex partners.

I am considering putting a note on my wedding website that our wedding will be a celebration of love, and to please set aside political and personal beliefs and accept every one of our guests during this happy occasion.

Would this be appropriate? I don’t know how else to convey the message that we will not tolerate any hateful or offensive remarks or actions against our loved ones.

Abby, much to her credit, is having none of it:

“Do not post that message on your website,” she writes.

Your message should be delivered via a telephone conversation with the people you think may have a problem. A way to phrase it would be to tell them you are planning your wedding and that some of the guests in attendance will be same-sex couples.

Ask if this would make them uncomfortable, and if the answer is yes, do not invite them.

Of course, she could print out copies of the column and include one with every invite. That would also get the message across.



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  • JerseyMike

    Why invite them.. They don’t support your love.. Family or not

    • DMRX

      You missed the point. The bride isn’t gay.

  • Heywood Jablowme

    That’s good, although those will be very uncomfortable phone calls. Admirable but you pretty much know what the answer will be.

  • David Bolton

    I have never understood why people want to invite others who don’t care, aren’t happy about, disagree with, etc—to “celebrate” their occasion with them.

    • Mkiel

      I would stop talking to them never mind inviting them to a wedding.

    • Sluggo2007

      Exactly! Marriage is about love.

    • DMRX

      It’s not the bride who is gay. It’s her friends.

  • Chris

    I would post the message or I would put it in the wedding invitation. In either case, it clearly communicates their expectations to those family members.

    I see no reason to call them, individually, to discuss their homophobic attitudes. The family already knows what’s going on. And the couple is busy doing other stuff — like planning their wedding.

    • scotshot

      Posting or including a note in the wedding invitation is informing the world of the situation, which IMO could cast a pall on the festivities. The people who know the situation understand, while others – coworkers, friends, etc. don’t need to family business.

  • Roan

    Not so fast. Why do I have to be apologized for? That’s essentially what this is. “We’re sorry, but some of the people at our wedding may be offensive to you.” Once again, I’m not an equal guest at a friend’s wedding, I’m the special gay guest. I understand the bride’s point that she wants to have an enjoyable day and not have her friends disrespected, but I just find it insulting that a caveat must be issued prior to my attendance. It’s 2017 and I’m growing weary of being special.

    • dwes09

      Why are you excoriating a person who wants to make sure her LGBT friends and family members are not offended or upset by others? She is not “apologizing for you”, but letting it be known that she will not tolerate small mindedness (which it sounds like you are displaying yourself).

    • Roan

      Dear dwes09: Your personal attack does not warrant any further discourse. GFY

  • MacAdvisor

    I am not sure someone should be excluded because they feel uncomfortable. The question isn’t if they feel uncomfortable, but if they can still behave themselves even when uncomfortable. I have been to many uncomfortable events over the years, including the marriage of my father to his third wife, a born-again Baptist at her very small town Baptist church which openly displayed anti-gay propaganda. I went, people were lovely to me, and I continued to attend church with her whenever I was in town. The anti-gay stuff is gone. They got to know me, I wasn’t some weirdo stereotype. I am not sure the church now welcomes gay people, but they welcome me. I was uncomfortable until I knew them, not as a members of some group, but as individuals. I think they family members should be invited unless they have demonstrated they don’t know how to behave as adults.

    • davidkohl

      You were uncomfortable because of their attitude – not yours. The reality is that that church will not have changed their attitudes even if they ‘tolerate’ you personally. So yes, any homophobes should be excluded – no talking to them beforehand as this is already pandering to their odious views. If your ‘friends or family’ can’t be happy on your ‘big day’ them let them stew in their irrational anger and judgemental attitudes.

  • Rob91316

    This is such a no-brainer. You simply do not invite the homophobic family members — if you feel you must keep them in your life at all. Afterward, if they have the audacity to question why they weren’t invited, you tell them the plain truth, albeit in a civil manner — “We did not invite you because there were a number of openly gay friends, family members and same-sex couples in attendance. We know how you feel about the LGBT community, and we did not want you to feel obligated to accept an invitation to an event that would cause you discomfort and offense.”

    • Jack Meoff

      If the homophobic relatives found out they were excluded from the wedding in favour of inviting gay friends and relatives they would be doubly insulted because they had been placed in second position behind people whom they consider beneath them. Personally I think that would be awesome because I can’t tolerate homophobes however it could cause terrible rifts within the family for the brides parents etc. so it may not be worth it it the end.

  • davidkohl

    @Jack Meoff It’s always worth it to stand up to bigots and those who pedal hate. Appeasement does not work. We should have learned that from Hitler et al.

  • Josh447

    I would invite them if the group is a generally respectful well behaved group. If you take the high road maybe someone who is homophobic might come around. Changing hearts and minds is a good thing. But if the ones getting married are offended by their presence then by all means don’t invite them on your special day. It’s you day and should be just how you want it.

  • ivanw222

    My cousin didn’t invite me to her wedding, the reception, or the brunch the day after. When my father, her fathers brother, found out about it he ordered his brother to invite my partner and me. We were seated off to the side at the reception, and at the brunch my uncle turned his back to our table and addressed the rest of the guests. The only one who treated us decently was her new husband. I’ve never seen any of them since.

    • DMRX

      1. Your situation is COMPLETELY different from the one described.
      2. Why on earth would you demand to attend a wedding when you knew you weren’t wanted? For the free sub-par food?

  • DMRX

    I’m generally a fan of Dear Abby’s advice, but I think she missed the mark on this one.
    I think the engaged couple should feel free to put that wording on the wedding website — and subtly remind everyone to check it for details of the big day.
    How could they possibly know exactly who MIGHT have a problem with gay attendees?

  • Roan

    At some point, and I hope it’s soon, gay people will not need a caveat prior to our inclusion in society. We don’t need an explanation to others that gay people might be in the general vicinity. The bride, albeit with good intentions, does not need to issue a “gay people ahead” warning to her potential wedding guests. Well meaning acts such as this, but dehumanizing nevertheless, will only stop when our expectations are made clear to friends and family to stop putting “gay” before our names.

  • amigay

    To the couple – this is YOUR day, not theirs. Invite whomever you choose with no disclaimer and leave it to the recipients to accept or decline, as they choose.
    Would you call a vegan friend and tell them they are not invited because meat will be served? Abby’s advice is allowing some wedding guests to determine who your other wedding guests will be and that is sooooooo not right.

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