Grant’s parents are unashamedly excited and happy on Skype from the USA when their son tells them he is about to marry Chris, his partner of three years.
“Congratulations,” says his mother.
“It’s wonderful I am so happy for both of you.”
And, yes, they will travel to Australia for the engagement party – even though they’ve never done a plane journey lasting longer than an hour.
It’s one of the most moving moments on Channel 7’s new Bride & Prejudice series, which premiered on Monday night.
But, for partner Chris, it’s a bittersweet moment.
“What was so lovely about that call is you could see the happiness in his mum’s eyes. She was so excited,” he says.
He knows his parents are unlikely to have the same reaction because they don’t accept that their son is homosexual. It moves him to tears to think about it.
“Deep down is this … you just want your parents to say they are proud of you. My parents haven’t.”
His mother Yvonne is a strict Jehovah’s Witness and believes homosexuality is a sin and not natural.
“I still love him. I’ll always love him,” she says.
“He has caused a division between us because he’s engaged in homosexual practices.
“I feel that my son has died – the one I really loved and knew.”
— ✨Leroy✨ (@LeroyBox) January 30, 2017
#BrideandPrejudice heartbreaking watching a sweet guy like Chris without family acceptance. I've been there. Shame the govt doesn't get it.
— Maverick Emmett (@MaverickEmmett) January 30, 2017
Chris’ father Geoff feels similarly.
“I think homosexuality is absolutely wrong. It makes me feel sick if I see two men together.”
Fractured family relationships are at the heart of this series and they make for painful, perhaps intrusive television. It follows romantically staged marriage proposals through to weddings in the coming weeks and asks who will come to the ceremony and will the relationships survive the tensions.
Ukrainian-Australian Marina, 31, is to marry Indian-Australian Donny, 33.
Donny’s father cries tears of happiness when he’s told the news.
“We’re over the moon,” he says, with his wife at his side.
Marina’s father Tony has a similar reaction and keeps saying Donny’s a “bloody good man” through his tears.
But Donny says Marina’s mum Natalia has told her daughter she’s very concerned about the inter-racial marriage and is even worried “about the colour of her grandchildren”.
How embarrassing for Marina. I would never admit that was my mum. #BrideAndPrejudice
— Jadee † (@jadeelouiisee) January 30, 2017
He’s determined to tackle her about her views.
The third story in the first episode features young lovers Brad, 20, and Courtney, 18, who have been together for five years.
Courtney is estranged from Brad’s mum Sherrie, and now Brad has to tell her they are engaged.
“I feel like I’m about to faint,” Brad says.
“I’m so nervous. I just want approval from my mum.”
You ain't marrying your mum, Brad. Go for it dude! #BrideandPrejudice
— junk_man29 (@junk_man29) January 30, 2017
Courtney’s mum Sheena reluctantly accepts their marriage but Sherrie is not having a bar of it.
She’s devastated as Brad tells her the news.
“Why Braddie? That’s so stupid. Really? She’s 18,” she says.
“It’s a mistake. I’m not going to approve.”
Brad cries as he says he and Courtney are mature enough to make this decision.
“It would be good if you would support us in that decision.”
Sherrie is deeply concerned because the couple had lived with her until two years ago when she kicked Courtney out of her home because the relationship was “too toxic”. She hasn’t seen her since.
So, the stage is set for an exploration of what happens when children don’t do what their parents want for their futures.
Will Chris’ parents put aside their views for the sake of their son? Will Marina’s mother deal with her prejudice and preconceptions about Indian men? And will Sheree give Bradley the blessing he craves?