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Gay Couple's Sleeping Arrangements Cause Strain During Family Visits

DEAR ABBY: I'm a gay man. My sister and I are best friends. I love her dearly. Long story short, she has now taken her religious beliefs much more seriously (Christianity).

She's married, with three wonderful children (6, 4 and 2 years old) who my partner and I adore. They attend church every weekend, rehearse Bible verses with their children every night and are very active in their community.

My partner and I visit as often as we can to spend time with her and the kids. They live 200 miles away, and the drive is a long one, so we stay overnight. On our last visit, she pulled me aside and expressed how uncomfortable she and her husband have been feeling with the sleeping arrangement. They don't agree with us sleeping in the same room because we are "not married."

I know it's more than that -- it is because we are not a straight couple. They said they prefer we sleep in different rooms when we visit them. My partner and I feel devastated, sad and obviously blindsided. We don't know what to do. Can you help? -- SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN

DEAR SECOND CLASS: From your description, it's unlikely that your sister and her husband will become more accepting than they are. As I see it, you have no choice but to "turn the other cheek" and spend your nights in a nearby hotel or motel. That may be the sacrifice you have to make to maintain your close relationship with the kids. If you and your partner eventually decide to marry, do not be surprised if it does not change the situation.

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