Days of Our Lives: How It Botched a Gay Couple Storyline

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When Will and Sonny were married on Days of Our Lives in 2014, the show did everything right.

They had a beautiful ceremony in the Kiriakis living room, surrounded by friends and family and officiated by Marlena Evans rather than by a religious figure.

By doing it this way, Days of Our Lives sidestepped the issue of same-sex couples not being allowed to marry in the Catholic church without taking anything away from their wedding.

Three years later, though, the show had Paul and Sonny share the altar at St. Lukes with Abigail and Chad. This left many fans scratching their heads. Since the Catholic church still doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, the plot point was incredibly unrealistic and distracted viewers from the story.

Should the show have ignored this issue?

Paul and Sonny Toast Their Engagement - Days of Our Lives

At first, I didn't mind. Soap operas are fantasies and are often unrealistic. People come back from the dead, heroes face and conquer bad guys on a regular basis, and true love blossoms in the strangest places.

So why shouldn't a same-sex couple have a church wedding on a soap opera?

If this were a soap opera that had a track record of positive messaging about gay people, it might not be a problem.

In Australia, same-sex marriage isn't legal, but the Aussie soap Neighbours has a gay couple that many fans are eager to see tie the knot, and nobody wants to see a story about how they're not allowed to because of current Australian law. Instead, the story might even help the movement to change the law.

But when it comes to Days of Our Lives, there are bigger problems than whether or not Paul and Sonny would be able to get married in a Catholic church in real life.

Sonny and Will's wedding was historic because it was the first same-sex marriage in daytime, but soon afterward, Sonny left town and Will was brutally murdered.

After Will's murder, Sonny and Paul flirted at Will's grave becoming token gay characters who were rarely seen and who, despite supposedly being lovers, were never shown in bed.

This was, quite frankly, homophobic, and sad to see on a show that had been groundbreaking in terms of social issues for over four decades.

Days of Our Lives was the first to feature an interracial couple, the first to address the issue of marital rape, and the first to feature two men marrying – but then suddenly began writing drivel that appealed to extreme conservatives who were disgusted by the show's previous pro-gay stance.

Given that history, ignoring the real-life conflict for same-sex couples who identify with the Catholic religion seems more like whitewashing the issue than simply telling a love story without worrying about real-life obstacles.

In addition, the parish priest was conspicuously absent from the wedding preparations and the wedding itself.

The men had a pre-cana session which consisted of them filling out a survey and talking among themselves and then the priest told them, off-screen, that he was not available to perform the ceremony so that they had to find a secular officiant.

The Big Talk - Days of Our Lives

If this was Days' solution to the problem of Catholic priests not being allowed to marry same-sex couples, it was a poor one. Instead of addressing the issue in any meaningful way, the show chose just not to bring the priest into the story and hope nobody noticed.

That doesn't do anything to reverse the homophobia that has pervaded this show for the last two years and ruined its legacy. Maybe Days was just trying to save money by not having the priest on-screen, but it doesn't feel good given recent history.

If Days had ignored the issue altogether and had a priest officiate at the wedding, it could be argued that they were just giving viewers a romantic fantasy in an imaginary world where these kinds of issues don't exist.

Or if they had given Paul and Sonny a non-church wedding that was just as beautiful as any in the church, like they did when Sonny married Will, they could have sidestepped the issue and affirmed their right to marry.

Days of Our Lives Wedding Pic

But by allowing Paul and Sonny to get married in the Catholic church but not by a priest, the show gives off the impression that they are trying to compromise by giving them half a church wedding, and that's not a good look for a show that has made such serious missteps when it comes to its messaging about gay characters.

I'm not a fan of this couple because of their ignoble beginning and because I don't see any chemistry, but if they were going to get married I'd rather have seen something a little more realistic.

How about you? Share your thoughts below and be sure to check out our Days of Our Lives Round Table for more Days of Our Lives discussion.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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Days of Our Lives Quotes

I don't know how Rafe mansplained this to you, but I was upset over losing Will and he was upset over losing you and we were just two exes trying to comfort each other.


I know it seems impossible that you actually saw Abby, but who knows? What did Shakespeare write in Hamlet? 'There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophies.' Maybe you did see her. We'll never know that, but I know one thing. Whether you imagined her or not, whether you told yourself the things you wanted to hear or not, I know she would want you to get on with your life.