A lesbian couple planning to marry needed wedding gowns and decided to call W.W. Bridal in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, for an appointment.
But an employee of the boutique replied that the owner “[does] not service same-sex couples,” the New York Daily News noted.
“We feel we have to answer to God for what we do,” store owner Victoria Miller, a Christian, told The Press Enterprise in Bloomsburg, according to the Daily News.
“And providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God’s law.”
Then one of the women turned down by the boutique took her complaint to Facebook, the Daily News said, and things heated up from there.
A string of comments on a reviews page has been growing longer by the day with reactions ranging from full support of the boutique to outright disdain.
“What happened to ‘we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone’?” asked Katie Young. “No business anywhere is required to provide service unless they want to. This is about this company owner’s rights as a retailer.”
“I didn’t realize this is the only place in all of PA to purchase a gown,” Lillian Guillot wrote. “You should not have to sacrifice your convictions to operate a business. God will bless you as you stand by your beliefs in a righteous manner.”
“Disgusting and discriminatory practices!” wrote Dorothy Sorrentino.
“Jesus catered his ministries to the poor, sinful, outcast members of society. Were he alive today do you think he would shun homosexuals for their perceived immorality?” Jay Boone asked. “No…The owners of this boutique must’ve missed the message behind ‘he who is without sin shall cast the first stone.’ Your hateful behavior disgusts me and would surely disappoint Christ, whose behavior we should strive to emulate in our daily lives. Show compassion, not hate, to those you find disagreeable.”
The Bloomsburg Town Council is planning a meeting Monday to discuss the controversy, the Daily News noted, adding that council members are discussing the possibility of legislation that would prevent businesses from refusing to serve LGBT customers.
Miller arranged for assistance in case of a lawsuit, the Daily News reported; her attorney Al Luschas noted that Miller has a “liberty interest” as part of her decision, as serving the couple would mean participation in a wedding that violates her “firmly and honestly held religious beliefs,” the paper added.
In May Pennsylvania became the last northeastern state to overturn its ban on same-sex marriage, the Daily News noted, adding that Governor Tom Corbett said he wouldn’t appeal the decision.