, Advice by Ann Landers - []
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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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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

Chh's Comment
Fuck you Ann!

Reader Comment
my granddaughter is 8 years old with autism and she is very understanding and accepting of gay marriage. if you have a loved one that is gay it is best to teach your children about it and teach them acceptance. I have been reading your column off and on for 40 years and I can say this is the first time I feel you are off base on your answer. I bet the are a lot of the LGBTQ community that just stopped reading your column and it is a shame. you are an icon and I just feel you got this wrong. and since everyone wants to quote the Bible, lets add one more. "Thou shall not Judge". It is not for us to judge, if you are religious then it is for your God to Judge. My GOD is understanding and excepting of all his children.

Andy's Comment
Sorry, Ann, but your advice is seriously outdated. Equal marriage is legal throughout the United States now, as it is throughout most of the civilized world. And a celebration of marriage should be conducted openly, not hidden like a dirty secret. That includes family members of all ages. People should be able to see the joy of two people publicly celebrating their committed relationship. If the writer chooses not to attend or allow her daughter to participate, that is up to them. And, despite her protestations to the contrary, she IS prejudiced against gay people.

Maryann's Comment
This isn't about "loving people," or whether "gay marriage is legal" throughout our country. These parents have the right to raise their daughter according to their own religious beliefs. It is interesting that we talk so much about tolerance these days, but the minute someone exercises their religious or moral beliefs, tolerance flies out the window and harsh judgement follows! I agree with the woman that marriage was ordained of God, NOT government, and that it is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. There are millions of people who still believe this. Those who want to mock that need to remember we are only required to be fair and kind. We are not required to have people crawl up into our brains and tell us how to think!

DD's Comment
Some of these comments show just how "tolerant and understanding" the LBGTQ community really is. You get what you give.

Sportacus's Comment
"So then, how are your children?" "They are doing very well. We are raising them to be alt-right, alt-white, wrapped up in their tighty whites, bigots. We are teaching them which groups to hate. It is exciting times."
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"Sensual pleasures have the fleeting brilliance of a comet; a happy marriage has the tranquillity of a lovely sunset."
-Ann Landers