A woman has shared her dilemma online after her to-be-wed sister didn’t allow her to invite her girlfriend as a +1 in a bid to please her fiancé’s “very traditional and anti-gay” family.
Posting to the popular Subreddit “Am I The A**hole” the user asked for others’ views on the matter, gaining over 20,000 votes on the post with people weighing in with their views.
According to the woman, she has been with her girlfriend for almost two years and her family, including her sister, are all accepting and fine with the relationship. When it came to wedding invites, however, her sister did not allow her a +1 to give to the girlfriend, in order to prevent drama with her fiancé’s family on the day.
“Her fiancé comes from a very regressive and religious family, and while he himself is fine, his extended family is very traditional and anti-gay,” she wrote.
“My sister gave me my invitation in person instead of mailing it, and explained that I wasn’t getting a +1 because having a gay couple at the wedding would likely end up causing lots of drama with his side of the family. All my other siblings have +1s and are welcome to bring their hetero partners.”
The woman explained she “understands where she’s coming from but it still feels like such a slap in the face.” She decided against forcing her sister to give her a +1, but said she is considering no longer attending the wedding.
“I’m not comfortable spending a whole day alone, while my other siblings are allowed to bring their partners, just because my sister wants to cater to a bunch of bigots,” she wrote.
How views towards gay couples play in weddings have long been a much-discussed topic. In 2019, the Arizona Supreme Court controversially ruled that graphic designers were within their rights to refuse to create invites for gay couples. The court ruled that a 2013 anti-discrimination ordinance in Phoenix violated the First Amendment rights of the owners of a calligraphy invitation business who refused to create invitations for same-sex weddings.
Normally, however, issues don’t often arise between apparently previously-accepting families when it comes to weddings.
An overwhelming majority of responses to the question at hand agreed with the user’s feelings towards the lack of +1. Many zoned in on the sister’s stance on it all, claiming that she shouldn’t pander to her new side of the family, at the expense of her sister.
“This is not a one time issue. This is how the stage gets set for how their family is going to interact with yours and whose values will be prioritized. It’s her wedding, and she can invite who she wants to, but choosing to do this is not a neutral stance; it is siding with his family to avoid drama. That’s a slippery slope with no bottom,” wrote one user.
“Your sister needs to learn to stick with principles. It’s a really bad way to start a marriage, to toss your principles just to get on the good side of hateful people.
What she should do: Invite you both. If there’s a problem, it’s the fiance’s family’s problem. She should probably tell them in advance that you guys are coming together, so you’re not faced with extreme unpleasantness once you’re there. If she won’t, you should absolutely decline to go. Let people know why. That’s important, because if you decline, they’ll try spreading rumors about you.
“You’re her sister. You’re going to be in her life the rest of her life. What is she planning on doing in the future? Is she going to keep you in the closet when she wants to, say, celebrate Christmas with both families? She needs to take a stand, and if she won’t, you are totally in the right to,” added another.
Some questioned the poster’s family’s place in the situation, wondering whose side they should take: “Also, I wonder how the rest of [original poster’s] family is going to react. Will they side with the bride and her soon to be homophobic in laws? Or with [original poster]?
I hope she is honest with her parents and siblings on why she will not be at the wedding. Hopefully the married couple will then have to choose which side has a family attending: all of groom’s homophobic family or all of bride’s inclusive family,” wrote a user.
In terms of what the woman should do in response to her +1 snub, suggestions ranged from deciding to not go at all, to turning up to the wedding with her girlfriend regardless.