US Christian boutique raises stir by refusing to serve lesbian couple
A Christian wedding boutique in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania has triggered a controversy after refusing to sell wedding gowns to a same-sex couple, local media reports.
The lesbian couple reportedly asked for an appointment but was turned down because of the owner's religious beliefs.
W.W. Bridal Boutique owner Victoria Miller told the Press Enterprise of Bloomsburg that "providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God's law."
The owners said they sought legal counsel in case the couple decided to bring the case to court. Lawyers are said to told the owners that they may be within their rights. This was because as the state of Pennsylvania does not have a law discriminating individuals based on sexual orientation.
One of the women posted a message on Facebook saying she had called the shop to arrange fittings for her and her partner.
Eyewitness News reported the Facebook post, "I was put on hold for about 5 minutes...she took me off hold and said unfortunately she would not be able to schedule an appointment for us because they currently do not service same sex couples and it's not something they do."
Susan Welliver, a resident of Bloomsburg said that the decision is bias and the owners may have personal problems themselves.
She said that word of mouth is powerful and "the bridal boutique should be concerned."
Because of the incident, the bridal's shop's Facebook page has been flooded with criticisms.
"As a fellow Christian, I'm ashamed of people like you," wrote one commenter. "We are taught to love our neighbor regardless. Did you skip that part?"
Bloomsburg Town Council plans to discuss the incident at a meeting Monday and will consider whether to propose legislation that will avoid a similar incident of businesses refusing to serve gays and lesbians, reported San Francisco Gate.
The owner's lawyer stressed that his client has a "liberty interest" in refusing to take part in a process that would violate "firmly and honestly held religious beliefs."