According to the Press Enterprise, a lesbian couple in Bloomsburg, PA was denied service by W. W. Bridal Boutique. Shop owner Victoria Miller cited religious beliefs as the justification for denying service to the couple. Miller told the newspaper: “We feel we have to answer to God for what we do. And providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God’s law.”
After the incident, the shunned couple took to Facebook, posting about Miller’s refusal to serve them, which went viral and put the spotlight on W. W. Bridal’s policy of discrimination.
Sadly, Miller’s refusal to serve a lesbian couple is perfectly legal. Unlike all other states with marriage equality, Pennsylvania has no anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT citizens. Legally, the couple has little recourse.
But just in case she gets sued, Miller has hired a lawyer, Al Luschas, who reportedly says his client has a “liberty interest” in refusing to be involved in a wedding that violates her “firmly and honestly held religious beliefs.”
Not surprisingly, Breitbart, an uber-conservative news website, recently defended Miller’s actions and tried to paint the couple as “bullies” in an August 12 article, “Lesbian Bridezillas Bully Bridal Shop Owner Over Religious Beliefs.” The couple was criticized for using social media to publicize the incident and raise awareness about LGBT discrimination. Breitbart quoted the anti-gay Family Research Council: “Instead of showing the tolerance their movement claims to practice, the women turned to social media to bully the shop–trashing its online reviews and sparking a city-wide firestorm.”
We can only hope some good comes out of this, and Pennsylvania gets a much-needed anti-discrimination bill passed in the near future.
In the meantime, we congratulate the couple on their upcoming wedding and wish them every happiness.