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Her fiancé's gay brother backs out of best man role

November 24, 2009

Dear Amy: My fiancé, "Rob," and I are getting married. Our wedding party has three attendants on each side, with his brother "Ted" as best man.

Ted has been out of the closet as a gay man for a few years and is supported by his family. Rob, Ted and I frequently see each other outside of family gatherings and enjoy a nice friendship.

Recently, Ted told us he refuses to serve as best man or even attend the wedding because he does not want to be part of a ceremony that he cannot personally enjoy.

Rob and I tried to reinforce how important it is to us to have Ted as a part of our wedding, but Ted told us it was selfish of us to ask him in the first place. We asked Ted months ago, and until recently he never indicated that he was anything less than flattered. Should we ask someone else to be in our wedding party or wait a bit in case he changes his mind?

Rob is incredibly hurt by this decision.

Bashed Bride

Dear Bride: "Ted" loves the institution of marriage so much that he won't participate in or attend one until he can partake of the privilege himself. By this reasoning, Ted won't be attending any same-sex wedding ceremonies in states where it is permitted until everyone in every state can marry.

He's driving a political stake through the heart of an institution he aspires to be a part of. Families contain all types of people, and as someone entering into a new family bond, you will see that sometimes the best you can do is be honest about your disappointment, accept someone else's unhappiness and move on with grace.

Tell Ted you're disappointed in his choice but that you accept it and have asked someone else to stand up with you.

Send questions to Amy Dickinson by e-mail to askamy@tribune.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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