The Browns know better than most that plural marriage comes with real downsides sometimes.
But look at it this way: that makes them ideally suited to help their kids prepare for a wedding, right?
As Sister Wives viewers watched daughter Mariah plan her wedding, she had decisions to make.
And Kody had a strong opinion about invites … comparing his polygamous marriage to Mariah’s same-sex nuptials.
On Sunday’s episode of Sister Wives, Mariah Brown was planning her wedding to Audrey Kriss.
The two became engaged in January of 2019.
After a lot of discussion and soul-searching as a couple, they decided against inviting, to put it bluntly, any homophobic bigots.
They phrased it more delicately, saying that they didn’t want to send invitations to people who “disapprove” of their relationship.
For the most part, their families understood.
But Kody had his own ideas … and they’re not especially surprising.
“We had a polygamous wedding,” Kody noted to Audrey’s presents and Mariah’s friends.
He recalled: “A lot of people who really had a problem at first sort of lightened up through that process.”
WIth that in mind, Kody recommended that they invite people with the goal of broadening their minds and opening their hearts.
Kody spoke to Meri in a one-on-one capacity, explaining his reasoning.
“We were monogamously married, OK? Just the two of us,” he recalled.
Even then, Kody noted, there had been some real disapproval.
“We had people come to our wedding reception,” Kody related.
He described people “who said, ‘We’re here because we love you, but this does not mean that we are condoning your chosen lifestyle.’”
That sure sounds like a harsh thing to say at someone’s wedding. Or ever.
“So, Audrey and Mariah — the parallels are very similar,” Kody suggested.
“In fact, that kind of treatment where people are like, ‘Well, I love you, but I sure think your lifestyle [and] your religion are dumb,’ we dealt with that,” he stated.
Kody noted how his own struggles made him more empathetic to others, including his daughter.
“That may have well-been something that helped me, personally,” Kody reflected.
He commented that it helped him “develop a high level of just acceptance of people who are gay.”
Kody explained: “I know what it’s like to be picked on.”
Kody argued: “If you invite all these people, [you] force them to think openly.'”
He said that guests will think “‘about, ‘What would God have me do? Would God have me ostracize these people because of their apology?’”
Kody encouraged his daughter and her future wife to “Make them think about it.”
Meri couldn’t help but think back to her own, less-than-stellar reaction when Mariah came out in 2017.
“I will never forget and always regret my reaction,” she emphasized.
Meri explained that she regrets it all “because I was completely clueless and I felt like such a bad mom.”
“I felt horrible,” Meri emphasized.
“I guess it was about maybe three or four months later, she introduced us to Audrey,” she noted.
“I have absolutely loved seeing their relationship bloom,” Meri praised. “They are so good for each other.”
As for Kody’s point, fans are a little divided.
On the one hand, seeing with one’s own eyes a member of any marginalized group can make them less “scary.”
To a certain extent, a lot of bigotry is truly just ignorance and fear of the unknown, with a helping of deliberate fearmongering.
On the other hand … how many couples want to invite people who see them as subhuman to their weddings?
Kody might be all for an opportunity to push for a positive message, but they can do that in other parts of their lives.
Their wedding day … well, a lot of couples want to make that day about themselves and their love, not a teaching moment. That’s okay.
Some are objecting to Kody’s comparison of a plural marriage to a monogamous same-sex wedding.
The truth is that there are a lot of parallels (and overlap) between the broader polyamorous community and the LGBTQ+ community.
That said, different marginalized groups can acknowledge similarities in their experiences without fully equating them. That’s important.