IN THE heartbreaking finale of Bride and Prejudice, viewers were crushed as they watched a gay son's mother reject him via video message on his wedding day.
For weeks, viewers have followed Chris and his partner of three years Grant as they prepare for their wedding and try to convince Chris's devout Jehovah's Witness mother, Yvonne, and traditional father, Geoff, to attend.
"It's not going to happen, Chris. You know I've got very strong beliefs. For us, that's not an option," Yvonne told her son when initially told of the couple's happy news on the series weeks ago. "I feel about homosexuality that it is not natural - it's actually condemned in the bible."
After weeks of anguish, Chris and Grant were married in Monday night's episode - but news of Chris' parents' decision just hours before the ceremony left the boys - and viewers - crushed.
"I thought I'd give you the news now so you've got time to adjust. They're not actually coming," Chris' Aunt Alison told her nephew on the morning of his wedding.
"Ah, OK," a heartbroken Chris responded.
"The one person in the world who's supposed to love you is not going to be there. I wanted us to have some sort of relationship. It just makes me angry."
While coming to terms with his parents' absence on his special day, his aunt says his mum has sent a video message explaining the decision. Watching it on a computer, his mother's justification didn't help.
"Hi Chris. it's just mum talking to you today because dad's actually found all this a little bit overwhelming. Just as you're hurting, so are we," Yvonne told her son, saying they still loved him.
"It wasn't until you were about 20, 21, that we came to understand that you were starting to live a homosexual life," she continued. "We tried to stay in your life. as much as we could - considering our strong views on the subject. And I know a lot of people today think they're outdated and old fashioned. But they're something that we value and hold dearly.
"We're pretty strong on how we feel about the situation and we also know what you want us to be able to give you - which is acceptance of your personal life choices - and Chris, we can't."
As Chris let the message sink in, Yvonne continued, saying she still wanted to hear from her son to know how he's doing.
"But now, Chris, you really are about to do something that we find very, very hard to accept," she said. "And that is to actually have a wedding ceremony. I hold marriage very sacred so I can't give you that acceptance or be part of that part of your life. That part of your life is just not compatible with ours.
"But your life is yours to live as you see fit. We want you to know that we do love you. And we want you to keep well. And that's really all I've got to say at this stage."
Chris struggled to comprehend how his mother could insist that she loves him while also making "a choice to not be in my life".
"My preference would've been not to hear from them at all - and them not be there than get a message like that on the day I'm getting married," he said.
Despite the upsetting news that underpinned the day, Chris and Grant married just hours later with the support of his Aunt Alison and Grant's parents.
"I hate to use the word blessed. But I do feel blessed. Not everyone gets the opportunity to meet someone and when you do you need to really hold onto them," Chris said after the ceremony, adding he'll "never cut myself off from my parents".
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