Couple Panned for Ban of Groom's Gay Stepdad From 'Non-Ideological Wedding'

A couple is facing criticism for refusing to let the groom's dad bring his husband because they want the wedding to be "non-ideological."

Writing for the popular Reddit forum r/AmITheA**hole, stylized AITA, u/Stuckinthebone earned over 4,500 upvotes and 600 comments for his post, "AITA for telling my son to cancel his wedding?"

The original poster (OP) said that he's a 49-year-old gay man, though when he was in the 20s, he was in the closet. When he was 24, he slept with a woman and got her pregnant, and they had a son, now 25. Though u/Stuckinthebone never married his son's mother, they raised their child together and are very close friends.

Eleven years later, u/Stuckinthebone met his now-husband, and says his son considers him his stepdad, and his son's mom adores him as well, joking about him being "her gay best friend."

Now, his son is preparing to be married. OP got the invitation, but it was for just him; he assumed his husband would get his own, but that didn't happen. He called up his son's mother, and she confirmed that she not only got an invitation, but hers came with a plus-one for her husband.

At a dinner with his son and fiancée two days ago, he asked the couple about the missing invite for u/Stuckinthebone's husband.

"My son got a bit embarassed and said that they aren't really inviting stepparents, just their parents," he wrote.

The OP said that was fine, but that his mom's husband was invited, so that was a little odd.

"His fiancee then said that they would just prefer to have a "non ideological wedding". My husband looked so shocked, and I was honestly just hurt," u/Stuckinthebone wrote.

When he called her out for her homophobia, she attempted to clarify: "I'm not a homophobe, I just don't want to deal with this at my wedding". When OP asked what she meant, she said that it was a church wedding.

"I said 'well you know, we won't burst into flames in the pew'. She got upset and demanded they leave, and went to wait for my son in the car," u/Stuckinthebone wrote.

His son started crying and apologized, and u/Stuckinthebone told him he loved him, but added that this was a red flag, and told him "he should really cancel or postpone this wedding, because this woman is showing behaviour that will only get worse." This upset his son, who called him an "a**hole" for "interfering in his personal life."

Though the son's mom says he can live life how he likes, what he and his fiancée did was wrong. The OP's dad, however, thinks he should "man up" and attend. His friends say the fiancée is in the wrong, but OP's brother says he's wrong for not respecting his son's wishes.

In a comment, u/Stuckinthebone elaborated on his feelings.

"This is what hurts me the most. That somehow my son apparently now sees me as gay first, and his father second. And I have literally spent my life trying to be a father first, and all else second," he wrote.

gay dad wedding homophobia church fiancee son
A couple refusing to invite the groom's gay stepdad to a "non-ideological wedding" is being dragged online. Ilya Ginzburg/Getty

Wedding etiquette dictates that the partners of all wedding guests be invited as well, regardless of whether or not they're married, engaged or just dating, according to Peggy Post in The New York Times. This is true even if the bride and groom haven't met the guest's partner, Post adds.

A similar question to u/Stuckinthebone's was asked of Emily Yoffe in her Dear Prudence column in 2013. In that case, the wedding was of a letter-writer's niece who didn't invite either his husband, or his sister's wife. Yoffe told the writer to confront the bride directly. If it was an oversight, it can be easily corrected; but if the snub was intentional, Yoffe says that the letter-writer shouldn't attend the wedding—or even bother sending a gift.

Reddit was solidly on u/Stuckinthebone's side, however there was some dispute over whether or not the son or his fiancée was the worst party.

"Your [future daughter-in-law] is clearly the biggest [a**hole] here. Non-ideological? Like disinviting gay guys isn't ideology? Give me a break," u/BusyDadGaming wrote in the top-rated comment with over 7,800 upvotes. "That said, telling him to cancel the wedding before he asked your advice was probably a step too far for him. He's got a lot of thinking to do, and while postponing is definitely sound advice, he's not in the emotional space to hear it. So you're [Not the A**hole], per se, but the comment was never going to be taken in the way it needed to be."

"Your son is the a**ehole if he is going along with this. He never even had the decency to discuss it with you before the invitations went out. He's marrying a bigot and is validating her bigotry. You'll be excluded from all future events too if they have kids," u/Reasonable_racoon wrote. "I would refuse to attend without my husband. [Not the A**hole]"

"Honestly OP, i think you should tell your son that while you can't make the call for him to cancel or postpone his wedding, and you're sorry for how it came out, you have serious worries about this relationship. let him know his fiancé is being extremely homophobic and unwelcoming, and that although you want nothing but his happiness, if he goes through with this wedding then there will be some serious changes in his relationship with you and your husband. tell him you love him and always will, but if he is married to someone who sees you and your husband as 'something to deal with,' then your son will also be 'dealing' with you a lot less," u/Global_Fig_6385 wrote. "Absolutely [Not the A**hole], but his fiancé...."

"He has agreed to this decision instead of standing for his family," u/EulaShaw wrote. "For me, the son is a [a**hole], although not as near as his fiancée."

"I just truly can't believe a son partially raised by a queer couple could find love with a homophobe?" u/addisonavenue added. "Like how is that not a deal breaker when he preumsably learnt this about her during the sending of the invitations?"

"I actually think the son is a bigger [a**hole] than the future daughter-in-law," u/Most_Thanks_1000 wrote. "Imagine standing aside and allowing the abuse of your (active and loving) father, and his partner (who is also an active and loving parent) in such a fashion, and to accept it as normal, and to allow it to continue into your future life."

"There is no word for that amount of cowardice. I can't even imagine doing that to somebody that I profess to love," they continued. "Yes the [future daughter-in-law] is a huge [a**hole], but the son is just as much, if not more."

"I would even take it a little further. You will not be attending the wedding, but you wish him the best. She will no longer be allowed in your house, and you will not attend any functions where she will also be attending. And if you are paying for any part of the wedding, I would be canceling that ASAP. [Not the A**hole]," u/not_levar_burton wrote.

Newsweek reached out to u/Stuckinthebone for comment.