The owner of a bridal shop in Pennsylvania has become the latest target of angry criticism due to her refusal to validate a behavior her Christian faith condemns. Victoria Miller, the owner of W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, has been skewered on Facebook and in the media after she refused two women who allegedly wanted her shop to fit them for bridal gowns for their same-sex wedding.
According to one of the two women, who insisted on not being identified, when she called the store to make an appointment, she was put on hold for about five minutes and then was told that no appointment would be scheduled because the bridal shop did not service same-sex couples.
Explaining her decision, Miller told a local 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.”
Following the polite refusal, the two women took to the shop's Facebook page to vent their anger, prompting a volley of responses from individuals who either condemned or supported the actions of the business owner.
“This company is formed by religious extremists who practice hate filled-customer service,” wrote one angry individual.
“Victoria Miller is a whack job that seethes hate,” wrote another. “She will burn in hell for her statements about God hating gay people. I hope you go out of business.”
The New York Daily News quoted one individual as claiming that “Jesus made everyone feel welcome, shame you are not a follower of Christ.”
However, others offered support for the business owner. “Standing for God is never wrong, no matter what society says,” wrote one individual, with another noting that “God commands us to love the sinner but hate the sin. That means you don’t do things to promote the sinful acts.”
One woman wrote, “I didn’t realize this is the only place in all of PA to purchase a gown. 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.”
One particularly annoyed individual blasted the pro-homosexual crowd, writing: “Kudos to W.W. Bridal Boutique for running a great bridal business and for standing up for their beliefs! They provide great services for women who are getting married … albeit not for a bunch of freaks and their non-thinking, supposedly well-educated sycophants — whose only reading on human sexuality comes from a Facebook feed or from Twitter — who choose to 'redefine' marriage.”
According to the New York Daily News, the Bloomsburg Town Council has also waded into the conflict with discussions about a possible ordinance that would prohibit businesses from refusing to serve same-sex couples, even for religious reasons.
The newspaper noted that the conflict prompted Miller to hire an attorney, who told reporters that his client has a “liberty interest” in refusing to accept business that would force her to violate her “firmly and honestly held religious beliefs.”
Based on the experiences of other Christian business owners who have declined to serve same-sex weddings, Miller may be facing an uphill battle. As reported over the past couple of years by The New American:
• A Gresham, Oregon, bakery was forced to close its doors following months of relentless attacks by homosexual activists angered that the owners had refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
• The owner of a Denver cake shop was found guilty of discrimination and forced to take “sensitivity training” because of his refusal to bake a cake for a same-sex couple.
• A New Mexico photographer was found guilty of discrimination for refusing to photograph the commitment ceremony of two women.
• The owners of a bistro and art gallery in Iowa were targeted with a discrimination charge after they politely refused to accommodate a pair of men who wanted to use the facility for a same-sex wedding.
• A Lexington, Kentucky, T-shirt company was charged with discrimination for refusing to print up gay-themed T-shirts for the city's homosexual pride festival.
• The Washington State attorney general filed a discrimination grievance against a florist in Richland, Washington, who refused to serve a pair of men for their same-sex wedding ceremony.
The increasing frequency with which certain businesses — especially those serving couples getting married — are targeted by homosexuals has caused many to think that what some have referred to as the “gay mafia” is involved in a large-scale campaign of intimidation.
Commenting on the response of the women rebuffed by the Pennsylvania bridal shop, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins offered:
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. Obviously W.W. Bridal Boutique isn’t the only wedding dress shop in town. These women could have easily taken their business elsewhere — but chose to retaliate instead.
When religious liberty clashes with homosexuality — as it has from bakeries to flower shops [to photography studios] — the story lines are all the same: conform or be punished.