Monday, 12 March 2018

Christian-owned Bridal Shop Closes Under LGBT Threats

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The owners of a Pennsylvania bridal shop are closing their business to avoid being forced to provide gowns for same-sex weddings in violation of their Christian faith.

W.W. Bridal Boutique of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, announced that it will be closing on March 30, the victim of an intolerant Left that has seen fit to sabotage the 22-year-old business with poor online reviews, threats of physical harm to the store and its owners, and soon an ordinance that would almost certainly land the owners in court.

Lisa Boucher, who, with her mother and two sisters, owns W.W. Bridal, told the Christian Post that the proximate cause of the store’s closing is the likelihood that the Bloomsburg Town Council will pass an ordinance prohibiting businesses from discriminating against customers on the basis of sexual orientation regardless of the business owner’s religious convictions. She said the ordinance is similar to one that failed in 2014, at which time W.W. Bridal was in the news for having refused service to a lesbian couple seeking dresses for their wedding.

“So what they [the LGBT community] did was got enough people to run for town council and they had a lot of the kids from [Bloomsburg University] vote those members in so a law could be passed,” Boucher explained. “We actually have a document from the Democratic Committee here pretty much saying that there is going to be a fight with W.W. Bridal.”

The LGBT community has been fighting with W.W. Bridal for years. After the 2014 incident, the business was bombarded with angry comments on its Facebook page and phony reviews on websites such as Yelp.

“What they say to do is they go into Google or Yelp and they post false reviews. We have been a one-star since 2014 because they hide all of our positive reviews and they only lift up the negative reviews,” Boucher said. “These people have not even come into our store. It is really hard to promote the business when there is false allegations out there.”

Negative reviews were only the beginning. The store and its owners have also been threatened via social media, email, and telephone, often in profanity-laced rants. According to the Christian Post, “People have not only threatened to burn down their place of business but have also threatened to shoot them in the head.”

Last year, after W.W. Bridal refused service to another lesbian couple, the threats increased once the story was picked up by national media.

“You stupid [expletive] bigots. We are coming for you and your family,” a man said in one voice mail. “We are going to tear your shop apart and make you feel as bad as you have made people feel. You [expletive] bigot scum. You are going down and so is all your employees and their families. You’re done!”

At that point, the store temporarily closed to the public and was open by appointment only.

Now, with the threat of a city ordinance hanging over their heads, the owners of W.W. Bridal have decided to close up shop for good.

Boucher said that if the ordinance, as expected, does go into effect, “I guess what would happen is that a customer would come in and once we deny them, they would sue us. You know how that goes with other [businesses].” The obvious calculation is that it’s better to shut down now than face a protracted, expensive, and probably unsuccessful legal battle, not to mention the additional threats that would surely accompany it.

“We are closing and this is our livelihood,” Boucher said. “At this point, we don’t have any plans of what to do in the future. We are kind of just resting on God’s Word and hoping that He is going to pull us through it and open some sort of doors. I am sure He has blessings and will take us to wherever He wants us to serve, whether it be in our church or volunteer locally.”

The closure also leaves the store’s employees in the lurch; a crowdfunding page has been set up to help support them.

Photo: baona/iStock/Getty Images Plus

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