Pennsylvania Bridal Shop Refuses to Sell Wedding Gown to Lesbian Couple: VIDEO

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A bridal store in Columbia County, Pennsylvania is under fire for turning away a lesbian couple looking to buy wedding gowns, the AP reports:

W.W. Bridal Boutique owner Victoria Miller tells the newspaper that "providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God's law."

Bloomsburg Town Council plans to discuss the incident at a meeting on Monday. Council members say they will consider whether to propose legislation to ban businesses from refusing to serve gays and lesbians.

Check out a news report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP

The New York Daily News adds

In the meantime, Miller isn’t budging. She’s hired an attorney to help defend her in case a lawsuit is filed.

Her lawyer Al Luschas says his client has a “liberty interest” in refusing to be involved in a wedding that violates her “firmly and honestly held religious beliefs.”

Pennsylvania remains one of the 29 states without a comprehensive, sexual orientation-inclusive non-discrimination law on the books. 

 

Comments

  1. G McGinnis says

    These bigots have to just start owning up to the fact that they are just hateful prejudice people and stop trying to justify their actions on their religions. Selling someone a dress does not make you a party to their wedding. That would be like the manufacturer of the limousine they ride in claiming letting them ride in one of their cars would make them a party to the wedding or the airline flying them to their honeymoon destination making the same claim. It just does not hold water. I would love it if in response to their actions the wedding dress suppliers would refuse to sell to this shop. I am sure Vera Wang would not approve of what this shop is doing.

  2. Pandion says

    These idi0ts keep not understanding that democracy is not compatible with “God’s law” (i.e. theocracy).
    Meanwhile, our politicians continue to humor them, allowing for more and more “religious exceptions” to civil law. Anarchy will be the result if this goes on.

  3. Kevan says

    Those dresses are ugly… even lesbians have some taste in dresses….. they should count themselves lucky… now, go to JC Penny and pick out some nice flannel shirts.

  4. pete n sfo says

    Why is this still an issue? Doesn’t the store have to carry a business license? Wouldn’t having such a license preclude them from exercising discrimination in the workplace?

    These people are exhausting. If they haven’t yet distributed a “lifestyle checklist” to every customer prior, they can hardly begin now. And without having done so, this makes it run-of-the-mill prejudice & bigotry in action.

    Why any others would continue to shop there would be a mystery to me.

  5. ernest1960 says

    And yet she’s probably sold many, many gowns and dresses to pregnant brides, brides who have had premarital sex, adulters, brides on their 2/3/4th+ marriages, older women pass child-bearing age. Maybe those pages are missing from her Bible and deeply held religious beliefs.

  6. ToThePoint says

    To avoid humiliation of walking into a place of “public accommodation” that discriminates, all business that are bigots should be forced to display a special license that must be displayed on the door to the business that states they only serve *ssh*les.

  7. says

    Unfortunately, since it is PA, there is no law that says this kind of discrimination is illegal.

    We have marriage equality, but still don’t have basic protections of employment, housing and public accommodations.

  8. says

    IF PA included sexual orientation in its public accommodations laws, this would be a no-brainer violation, but what the bridal shop owner did may be perfectly legal.

    Fortunately, the bigot can’t prevent attention being called to her stupid and irrational business decision, and fair-minded people will know to shop elsewhere.

  9. woody says

    My experience has been that Pennsylvania becomes kentucky fast once you get out of the philly metro area, so I’m glad locals aren’t pleased with the bridal shop. Minds are changing faster now. People aren’t afraid to say what they really know in their hearts is right when it comes to us anymore. People aren’t just willing to nod their heads and go along with the bigotry like they were for so long.

  10. Gay Guy says

    Do they also not sell to brides who are married in a church (or shul or mosque, etc.) not to their liking?

    If so, then they are within their rights. Otherwise, they are engaged in selective discrimination (like the cake guy in Colorado).

  11. simon says

    Ernie:
    Unfortunately, there are a lot of faithful in that state who will flock to that store to reward her for defending “god’s law”. It can be a strategic move by the owner to boost her business. Soon Huckleberry will organize some kind of chick-fil-A day.

  12. Bernie says

    and, here we go again! How would Ms. Miller know she is not selling a wedding gown to a pagan, a shoplifter, a murderer, a gambler or any other so called sins in the bible….it seems that the “sin” of being gay is the only sin recognized by the Christian right wing….and my prediction: this owner’s business will decrease, she may go out of business and then blame the gay community….and, also, if you open a retail business, you are a public accommodation…..

  13. Rewind says

    Dear BERNIE,

    There is no seeming; the so called ‘sin’ of being gay IS THE ONLY SIN recognized by not just Christians but the religious in general.

    From what I’ve seen over the years ALL religions except maybe Satanism and the occasional Voodoo sect looks down on gays. Even pagans and Wiccans hate on gays.

    This is all part of the backlash towards gay equality. Denial of wedding cakes, denail of filing tax forms, denial of entry into restaurants, denial of entry into public pools, denial of selling food at grocery stores, DENIAL OF FUNERAL PROCESSIONS AND LAYING THE DEAD TO REST… it just goes on…

    Just like the manifestations of other kinds of prejudice, I don’t think this is something America will ever live down. It indicates that Americans in general are just bad and don’t improve or learn or adapt in cooperative ways.

  14. jamal49 says

    I would love to know how purchasing a dress would break “god’s sanctified law”. Please, tell us, oh vast toilet of evangelical effluvia. How does this break such “law”?

  15. Will G. says

    Ok, I get that it’s “legal” but enough already. This is outright discrimination and this store needs to feel the backlash.

    Go there, voice your opinion, but simply don’t buy anything.

    Every drag queen in town should go in, touching and trying on 5 dresses. Then leave without buying anything, spreading the ‘gayness’ all over every dress in the shop.

    Soon they will be known that every dress in the shop and the one the might like for the “big day” was once worn by a drag queen!

    Christians hate the “gayness”.

    Fnnn snag.

  16. John O says

    Pull their business licenses.

    If they want to legally discriminate based on their religious beliefs, they can be a church, they can register as a church.

    Selling a wedding gown is selling a wedding gown. It’s none of their business who they’re selling it to. They’ve intervened and chosen to interfere in a perfectly legal activity. Fine them, yank their license, and let them go start a church.

  17. David says

    I live in Columbia County, 9 miles from this shop, and yea the locals in the College town of Bloomsburg are in an outrage, the rest of the local area is about split. In PA it is legal to refuse anyone, any service, no matter the business. The rednecks devout Christians in the area are running to the business’ defense.

  18. says

    That’s not true @David. A number of characteristics are covered under PA’s public accommodations laws. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not. Which means that a Christian-owned bridal shop can discriminate against gay people but a gay-owned bridal shop cannot discriminate against Christians. So, PA is in the weird place of having marriage equality and public accommodations inequality for gay people.

    “For the denial of services to be illegal discrimination, it must be based on someone’s race; color; sex; ancestry; national origin; religious creed; handicap or disability; the use, handling or training of a guide or support animal for disability; or relationship to a person with a disability.”

  19. miasma vortex says

    I wonder if any of her dresses have mixed fabrics. after all, that is a big no no in both Deuteronomy and Leviticus. I hope a group of “Christians” visit her shop, do an inspection and cast out any and all such abominable mixed fabric dresses.

  20. Chris L. says

    Oh Lord, this stuff is getting so OLD. How petty! For goodness sakes, sell them the dress and stop trying to cloak your homophobia in religion. How is selling a dress getting “involved” in a gay wedding?

    As we all know, the real test of their religious sincerity is to examine if they do this to others. Do they turn away atheist couples? How about a Jew who wants to marry a Christian? Of course not.

    We’re going to see more of this as time goes on. I expect Tony Perkins to elevate this store owner to the level of martyr at any moment now.

  21. Alan says

    Perfectly legal…. disgusting, but legal. But let the public see her for the hateful person that she is (just like the church/pastor in Tampa). Now wouldn’t it be something if other businesses in her hometown started to refuse service to her, stating that their religious beliefs don’t allow them to serve bigots.

  22. lewis scudder says

    I think the headline is enough to not read any further. This little shop of horrors probably clears a sale a month. What a perfect opportunity for some free publicity. Let’s deny this lovely lesbian couple with the funds to drop $150 bucks in our boutique. I hope the shopkeeps are happy the media thinks they are assholes too. WW Bridal shop, Victoria Miller, VERA WANG YOU ARE NOT!

  23. SFRowGuy says

    I’m still waiting for the Morons to drop the ‘Polygamy’ boot, as part of their ‘religious beliefs’. Then let SCOTUS work through all that BS. LGBT rights will seems like ‘whatever’.

    And wasn’t this the same stupid argument in Colorado and Arizona? I business is in business to do business. If you don’t want to sell stuff to everyone, then you shouldn’t be in business. And if they put a spin on it, the argument would never fly in court. “It’s against my religious beliefs to sell to Hindus… to Blacks…. to Asians… to people who don’t wear a cross openly…”

  24. tinkerbelle says

    If you’re not willing to sell merchandise to any client who can afford what you offer, then you just shouldn’t be in business, at all. Get another life. Free enterprise is not a selective service.

    And what are all these comments: “Go buy a couple of flannel shirts at JC Penneys”; “Since when do lesbians wear dresses”… those commentors are as bad or worse than the proprietors who refused to sell the dresses. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  25. Hulk says

    Christians are not having wars on GLBT, they are having a war on us. Christians are defending our faith, and the Govt should be supporting these rights. GLBT rights are “extra” rights, they should not trump traditional rights. Being gay does not provide you more rights that those who are not gay.

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