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Section: Sexuality, children, relationships, gender

Dear Ann Landers,
My husband and I have been married for 15 years. We have a wonderful marriage and two terrific children. The problem I am writing about involves my husband's brother. He is gay. "Rick" is a great person and a devoted uncle to our children. Until now, we haven't had a problem with Rick or his live-in companion, "Dennis." Our children think of Dennis as their uncle's friend. The two of them have been together for 20 years. Everything was fine until Rick and Dennis decided to get "married" and asked our 9-year-old daughter to be the flower girl at their wedding. I am raising my children to believe that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. I do not want my daughter to participate in Rick's wedding. My husband feels the same way. In fact, he doesn't even want to go. So far, the only comment my daughter has made is "I am too old to be a flower girl." I am not prejudiced against gay people, Ann, but I do not condone that lifestyle, either. Please tell me what to do. -- Dilemma in the Dairy State

Dear Dilemma,
Gay couples who wish to have a ceremony to celebrate their union should not be asking a 9-year-old to participate. It would be too confusing. A service for those in the inner circle would be OK, but please, no children. Tell your brother-in-law that your daughter will not be participating. (P.S. I agree with her that a 9-year-old is a bit beyond the "flower girl" range.)

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Reader Comment
Gay couples can invite whomever they choose - including beloved children - to participate in their wedding. It is not confusing - the couple love each other, love their niece, and presumably she loves them. If she wants to decline, that’s her or her parents prerogative. BTW - apparently this family has been overlooking the ‘living in sin’ aspect of the uncles relationship during visits and what not. If the kid can understand that uncle had a committed loving relationship with a guy then what exactly is confusing about the two of them getting married?

Reader Comment
this is bullshit.

Reader Comment
totally fvcked up answer.

rodney munsch's Comment
apparently SIN IS IN these past few tears..... THANKS, OBAMA! 🙄

Jerry's Comment
Your brother in-law and his fiancée deserve the same love, respect and attention as much as anyone else in the family. Celebrate that you’re getting a new addition to your family and that Rick and his intended are deeply in love and devoted to each other. We’ve got to change archaic attitudes about gay people and gay marriage. Marrying the love of your life cannot be a sin and let he who is without sin cast the first stone, to quote the Bible. I am a devout Christian so don’t throw that at me. Love is love. Would you have wanted to be ridiculed about marrying your love? Love your new in-law and for Gods sake, welcome them into your family and celebrate the addition. Your brother has been there for you, now YOU must be there for your brother, and, yes, buy them a serious, major wedding gift. Remember....this is HIS day, not yours.

Reader Comment
Apparently "Jerry" picks and chooses which quotes from the bible he wishes to go along with. Yes, this is bullshit and Ann's answer is not without merit. However the child's mother
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other."
-Ann Landers