Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Chris's Mum Speaks out; 'I'd Never Disown My Son'

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Chris's Mum Speaks out; 'I'd Never Disown My Son'

Article excerpt

KATHY

SUNDSTROM

kathy.sundstrom@scnews.com.au

YVONNE, the mother of Chris on Bride and Prejudice, has for the first time explained why she couldn't attend her gay son's wedding.

It comes as her son claimed the "near daily conditioning" by Jehovah's Witnesses drove her to "overwrite her own maternal instincts to support her faith".

In a letter to the Daily, Chris responded to Jehovah's Witness spokesman Rodney Spinks' comments his mum was not speaking on behalf of the organisation.

"Throughout filming of the (Bride and Prejudice) series, we saw all those years of very specific advice and involvement in my mother's life," Chris wrote.

"Advice where they have explicitly and consistently demonised homosexuality. Just like other high control religions, Jehovah's Witnesses explicitly encourage their members to reject those that leave the organisation."

But Yvonne has refuted her son's claims and explained why she and husband Geoff feel the way they do.

"The stand I took was based on my own beliefs which was learned from my own personal study of the Scriptures," she said.

"As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I adhere to those values and principles that any sexual act outside of marriage is wrong.

"At no time was I scripted or instructed on what to say to Chris."

Yvonne also explained why her decision to not attend Chris's wedding to his long-term partner Grant was different from an ordinary person's wedding who wasn't part of the church.

"I do attend non Jehovah's Witness family special celebrations, but in Chris's case, he was once one of Jehovah's Witnesses although he is now non-practising," she said.

"He did attend the church and was baptised as one of Jehovah's Witness. A lot of people are not aware of that."

She said her decision to not go was because "I believe homosexuality is wrong".

"I am one of the Jehovah's Witnesses by my own free will and I hold very dearly the value and principles in the Bible."

She was "a bit disappointed" that "Channel 7 portrayed my husband and myself as having disowned Chris". …

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