One Oklahoma mother has gone viral for offering to be a stand-in parent at gay weddings.
Sara Cunningham, an ordained minister and mother of two, made a Facebook post offering to attend a gay wedding in place of a disapproving parent.
“PSA. If you need a mom to attend your same sex wedding because your biological mom won’t. Call me. I’m there. I’ll be your biggest fan. I’ll even bring the bubbles,” Cunningham wrote.
The post became a social media hit with more than 8,000 shares and more than 1,000 comments filled with people cheering on the idea. Some moms from other areas also offered their own services to be stand-in parents.
Cunningham’s journey to become an LGBTQ ally started with her son Parker who came out to her at age 21. She says she struggled with accepting his sexuality at first.
“I’m a woman of faith. We live in a conservative town,” Cunningham told CBS News. “It sound bad to say it, but I felt like I had to chose between my child and faith. I was under this impression it was the ultimate offense.”
She joined a Facebook group for moms in her situation and eventually accepted her son. Cunningham would go on to attend a Pride parade with her husband and son and to write “How We Sleep at Night: A Mother’s Memoir,” a book for mothers to learn how to accept having gay children.
She became ordained so that she could officiate LGBTQ weddings and found that other parents were still struggling with accepting their children.
“Many of the weddings I officiate, I’ll say, ‘How are your parents? Are they accepting?’ And they say, ‘Well, I don’t know if I’ll invite them or not, they don’t acknowledge my relationship,'” Cunningham said.
These stories inspired her to make her Facebook post which received a tremendous response.
“There’s so many — I don’t mean to sound boastful — but I haven’t even been able to address my private messages yet. Theres 130 in my inbox,” Cunningham said.