A wedding offers an opportunity to gather all of your closest family and friends—past and present—into one place for an evening of pure celebration and romance.
It also offers an ideal way to exact your vengeance on the presumptuous bunch who—wrongly—think they're a shoe-in for the guest list.
Reddit user "steelbakerr_" has either just made an impassioned stance against hypocrisy and upheld gay rights or held a grudge and made drama where there was no need.
It all depends which family members of his you asked.
He posted on the "Am I the A**hole" subReddit, a place where recent deeds are explained in full and anonymous strangers on the internet assess if and where guilt is placed declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
steelbakerr_'s story involves two weddings, old wounds and some people's version of God.
He begins the account with the first wedding.
"This goes back 3 years when my mom and her girlfriend got engaged. My mom put in so much time and energy into organizing this wedding and was so excited."
"She sent out invites to all our family members 4 months in advance, & almost everyone confirmed they would be going."
But that excitement was not always reciprocated.
"Barely a week before the wedding, she received several messages from aunts and uncles who said they wont be going because they had 'other commitments' despite confirming they'd be there months prior."
"One of my aunts (my grandma's sister) confronted my mom and said many weren't going because they still didn't agree with the fact that she was marrying a woman, including herself because it went against her 'Christian views.' "
"Meanwhile my hardcore Christian grandma was more than happy to walk my mom down the isle."
This would lay the seeds for later.
"This upset my mom but she tried not to let it ruin her wedding. I however, was furious. Only my grandma, my mom's sister, a few cousins, and another aunt attended the wedding; while my stepmom's entire family came."
"I swore then that when I got married, everyone who did not show up to my mom's wedding would not be invited to mine."
Most, when they swear such things in the heat of the moment, are talked into backing down later.
Some, like this narrator, do not.
"Fast forward to now. Me and my girlfriend of two years got married first week of March and I kept my word."
"The only ones we invited to our wedding was the family that did go to my mom's, and one other aunt who did have a good reason for not being there at the time because she was recovering from surgery."
"We even invited my stepmom's family too."
And expectations of drama did not disappoint.
"Obviously my other family members found out and expressed their hurt over not being invited."
"I called them all out and said if they had a problem with my mom for being who she is, then they had a problem with me and I wouldn't let toxic people be apart of a special day for me and my wife."
"My wife stood behind my decision, as did my mom."
But he's not full steam ahead about the whole ordeal.
The post closes with some self-doubt.
"That still doesn't seem to stop them from thinking it was a dick move and are turning it into a whole family drama because they think it was unfair to 'punish' them for simply believing in something different."
Which brings us to the Reddit judgement.
A vast majority of the comments supported his decision.
Some empathized with his mom and imagined how meaningful his actions must have felt.
"Your dedication to your mother is heartwarming. I would be beaming with pride if I were her. Wishing you both every happiness." -- njbeila
"As a mother myself, it makes me feel good that you stood up for your mom against toxic family members. My own daughter did the same thing for me and I really appreciated it." -- juswannalurkpls
"Family is supposed to love and support each other and find joy in each other's happiness; your relatives didn't uphold their end of the deal in regards to your mom."
"I can totally understand not wanting them at your wedding. Your mom is so lucky to have you, and your wife definitely hit the jackpot. Congratulations on your marriage!" -- MandaMaelstrom
Others took the chance to tea off on the family members that did not come to the wedding.
These Redditors took aim at the value system of the non-attenders.
"Anytime the hypocrisy of religion gets thrown back in someone's face, my heart grows a little." -- TXblindman
"Homophobes don't get to have nice family gatherings." -- laarg
"They believe that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman only. You believe that homophobes are assholes who shouldn't be invited to your wedding."
"If they can't change their "beliefs" for one day then oops neither can you." -- PmMeLowCarbRecipes
"When homophobes complain about their feelings getting hurt, it's like, 'And? So what?' They're inconsequential." -- _stelmaria
Some comments didn't even get that specific.
They were purely concerned with simple, balanced justice.
"I'd have done the same thing. Exclude my mother and you'll be forever excluded by me." -- orangequokka
"Tell them they and their views can go pound sand and you give a shit how they feel. Just like they gave a shit about your mum." -- welptheheck
"Oh look, actions have consequences. What a shocker." -- Original_Sail
And finally, there were those with some creative ideas about additional punishment for the slight.
"After what they pulled you'd have been well within your rights to invite them then un-invite them the morning of and have security block them at the door." -- justreadthearticle
"I would have sent them all the gift registry information and than not invite them to the wedding." -- Vortex_2020
It's unlikely that the narrator took the advice of these last comments and upped the ante. But the comment thread is sure to have him feeling more secure in his choice.
The book God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships is available here.