In a Dear Abby column this morning, our favorite advice doling maven(s) took on the issue of gay marriage with an interesting twist. I don’t quite know what I’d do, and since I have a straight brother, I suppose I should really put more thought into it. Here’s the crux:
I am being married this summer to my fiancee of five years, “Beth.” I had always assumed that my brother “Mike,” who is also my best friend, would be my best man. Mike is gay.
When I asked him, I was stunned at his response. Mike said he loves me and Beth but refuses to be part of a ceremony celebrating something for which he is discriminated against emotionally, financially and socially. He refuses even to attend.
While I applaud Abby’s response–maybe one day the US will recognize gay marriage, too–I’m torn about this and wonder what you would do. I know that I’d be really hurt if my brother refused to attend my wedding for any reason, even a principled one, and similarly I can’t imagine refusing to attend his wedding, should that day ever freeze over. (Hee hee.)
I wonder if perhaps a compromise would be the better answer. Attend, but refuse to participate “as the best man” in a show of solidarity for the fight for gay equality. Maybe that would be an empty gesture–I dunno. But somehow I don’t think just refusing to go is going to help “Mike’s” relationship with his brother. By attending in a passive role “Mike” can not only support his brother but also make his protest, and the unfairness of the whole situation, known. It all comes down to when and how to take a stand?
Like the title says, what would you do?