National

She’s a ‘woman of faith,’ and she’ll be a stand-in mom at your same-sex wedding

Sara Cunningham said on Facebook that if you need a mom to be at your same-sex wedding, she will be your biggest fan.
Sara Cunningham said on Facebook that if you need a mom to be at your same-sex wedding, she will be your biggest fan. Sara Cunningham, Facebook

If your biological mother is not going to attend your same-sex wedding, this Oklahoma mom wants you to contact her.

“Call me. I’m there. I’ll be your biggest fan. I’ll even bring the bubbles,” Sara Cunningham posted to Facebook in a “public service announcement” last week.

That post came after she officiated several same-sex weddings where parents refused to attend, Cunningham told BuzzFeed News.

The mom calls herself an “accidental activist” for LGBTQ kids, according to her Twitter bio; she is also the author of “How We Sleep at Night: A Mother’s Memoir.”

In the book, readers hear the story of a Christian mother who “comes to terms with her son being gay through a personal journey that starts with the Church and ends at the Pride Parade,” according to the description on Amazon.

The Oklahoma woman told CBS that she has been involved with the LGBTQ community since her son, Parker, told her he was gay — and it wasn’t easy for her to accept that at first.

I’m a woman of faith ... We live in a conservative town,” Cunningham told CBS. “It sound bad to say it, but I felt like I had to chose between my child and faith.”

She sought out information, NBC reported, and started attending an LGBTQ-affirming church.

Then, in 2014, she went to an Oklahoma gay pride parade, Cunningham told CBS.

“It was my first interaction with the community that I was so alienated from by my own ignorance and my own fear ... And I realized this was a beautiful community,” she told the station.

She went back to the parade in 2015, CBS reported, but this time she wore a “Free Mom Hugs” button. She told CBS she would offer anyone a hug — and she left with glitter all over her, as well as with stories about family rejection that haunt her.

Having heard those stories, Cunningham started “Free Mom Hugs,” which is now a group of “moms who love LGBTQ+ kids,” according to the Facebook page.

“Free Mom Hugs started with a simple idea — to provide love and support to our LGBTQ+ community in hopes of making them feel less alone and afraid,” the website says.

Cunningham told NBC that she has received about 100 messages of encouragement since her post to be a stand-in mom.

“Everyone needs their mom,” she told NBC. “To deny that on the most important day of their lives is devastating. I wanted to make the day better.”

Parker Cunningham posted to Facebook that he is proud of his mom.

“Love is like wildfire,” he said. “I have been overwhelmed by the support and kindness of people all over the world who are watching this unfold!”

The Supreme Court ruled on Jun 26, 2015 that same-sex couples have the right to marry across the country. Both supporters and anti-gay marriage activists gathered outside the Supreme Court, as many celebrated the historic decision.

Related stories from Kansas City Star

  Comments