10 Things Not to Do or Say at Same-Sex, Transgender, and Inter-Sex Weddings

-People who, for personal, philosophical, or religious reasons, do not agree with same-sex, transgender, or inter-sex weddings, should not be invited to such weddings—even if they are close friends or relatives. Instead, they should be sent an announcement of the wedding (in the case of close relatives and friends) or receive word of the wedding through the newspaper. And since announcements bear no obligation to give a gift, the recipient need not feel any obligation to send a gift in celebration of a union that he or she does not condone.

People who receive an invitation to a same-sex, transgender, or inter-sex wedding but cannot, for personal, philosophical, or religious reasons, support such a union, should not attend the wedding. Instead, they should decline the invitation. There is no obligation to send a gift under such circumstances since it was improper for such a person to have been sent an invitation in the first place—the way one would not send an invitation to a wine-tasting to a teetotaler or an invitation to a pig roast to a Muslim.

 -An invited guest who is allowed to bring another guest should not bring a guest who, for personal, philosophical, or religious reasons, does not support same-sex, transgender, or inter-sex weddings—even if the accompanying guest is a fiancé, a fiancée, a best friend, or a blood relative.

Do not ask, “So who’s the man, and who’s the woman?” or any other similarly offensive, uninformed, or irrelevant variation thereof, such as, “How am I to address you: ‘Mr. and Mrs.’ ?”

 -Do not give “his/her” gifts unless such is the expressed posture of the couple’s relationship.

 -Do not ask, “How did you two meet?” or “How long have both of you known each other?” Information of such a personal nature is generally already known or need not be known. The first question may lead to embarrassment if truthfully answered, and the second inquiry may be interpreted as a questioning of the long-term stability of the couple.

 -Do not ask, “So when can we expect a baby?” Such an imposing inquiry would be improper at a traditional wedding and would, likewise, be inappropriate at a non-traditional wedding.

 -Do not voice—not even in the form of a whisper—any objections; make disparaging remarks about; or indicate any lack of support for same-sex, transgender, or inter-sex marriage at such a wedding. A wedding is supposed to be an uplifting event, attended by people who love and support the couple.

 -Do not, for the sake of appearing open-minded, feign being more comfortable or knowledgeable of same-sex, transgender, or inter-sex relationships than is the case. “Oh, I have lots of gay friends” or “I really enjoy Christopher Street” are as likely to signify being “gay-friendly” as is “I have lots of Black and Latino friends” likely to make one not appear racist.

Do not inquire as to the attendance of certain relatives or friends (For example, “Where is your brother Mark? I haven’t seen him,” or “How is your father handling all of this?”). Many relatives and friends opt not to attend same-sex, transgender, and inter-sex weddings for various reasons, and their absence, oftentimes a cause for discomfort to the couple, need not be a topic of discussion at the wedding.