W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania is closing its doors after 22 years, all because of a local ordinance that would prevent private businesses from discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation. The bridal shop is owned by Lisa Boucher, her mother and two sisters, all of which are Christians who do not believe in gay marriage.
The owners originally turned down a lesbian couple's business in 2014 and referred them to another shop that would cater to their needs. The same thing happened again in late 2017.
The owners detailed why they decided to take a stand against the ordinance in a Facebook post on their business' page:
"W.W. Bridal Boutique has served our community for twenty-two years. We have provided formal wear for our customers from all walks of life, including the LGBTQ community," the shop told the Christian Post in a statement. "While we have always tried to serve everyone and treat them with respect and dignity, we cannot help plan and celebrate every event. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to live their lives as they see fit. We simply ask for the same freedom to live our lives according to our convictions."
The sad part is the owners of W.W. Bridal Boutique have received death threats because they refused to cater to the LGBT community.
The original threats began a few years ago but the ordinance appeared the be the straw that broke the camel's back.
Boucher and her family decided to share some of the obscene voicemails and emails they received from those who were unhappy with their Christian beliefs.
(CAUTION: Strong language)
The owners also shared a number of emails they received from people in the community who were upset about the business' stance.
You're no Christian. You disappoint Jesus with your bigotry.
Jesus teaches acceptance. He washed the feet of his enemies. Jesus would provide dresses to lesbians. You are a disappointment to god and Jesus.
For showing just how awful and disgusting you are. People like you are responsible for suicides everyday specific to your ignorance relating to human rights. Your hatred is literally killing people everyday [sic]. The blood on your hands will never go away.
Remember when you go to bed at night that you are an awful human being for being ignorant and have no sense of compassion or humanity in your unfortunate existence.
Back to lgbt hate
What kind of people think they're too good to serve others?
I don't know the answer, but I do know they ain't Christian.
Americans have adopted an evil version of Christ. One that goes against what Jesus actually taught. You have fallen victim to the anti-Christ, but you are in good company. Most Americans have adopted Trump as "the good in this world". You are no better than the Trumpster and I take great comfort in that. I know he has no possibility of making it to heaven and [sic] as those hate minded Christians that worship him.
Good luck with your salvation, he he
Shame on you
As nurses when you're in the hospital, we don't treat you cause our religion disagrees w yours.
Shame on you. Hope your business suffers from this decision to not do business w lesbians!!!!
I hope you lose your store.
I hope you go out of business because you deserve nothing less and a whole lot more for your shameless discrimination. Turning away people because they wanted a dress for a same sex wedding?? And because you call yourself Christians??? Rot in hell you disgusting excuse for human beings. People like you give central Pennsylvania it's [sic] bad name.
Whatever you sow, you reap. You received God's punishment for treating people bad. You targeted Lbgt yet provided services to divorces [sic] and brides who engaged in pre-marriage [sic] sex. You are a disgrace to the Message of the Cross.
The people who are targeting the Boucher's business have made it almost impossible for them to stay around. People will leave negative reviews on Yelp, pretending to be customers who were unsatisfied with their experience, just to take the business.
Here's what Boucher told the Christian Post:
"What they say to do is they go into Google or Yelp and they post false reviews. We have been a 1-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."
"They will even say that they have been here and lie about the fact that they have been here when we have no record of them even being here," she added. "They don't just say, 'They're bigots!' They will do it in a way that makes it look like they have been here and we have denied them or were rude to them or whatever. It's kind of hard to promote a business when you are being attacked."
One person in the area decided to defend the boutique and provide a unique outlook on the situation:
What the Ordinance Entails
According to Boucher, the potential ordinance is similar to one that failed to pass in 2014. It's like to pass now that Bloomsburg Town Council has moved to the left.
"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 to the Christian Post. "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 ordinance fails to offer a religious exemption, which would put W.W. Bridal in the same predicament as a number of other Christian businesses who fail to cater to the LGBT community.
"I guess what would happen is that a customer would come in and once we deny them, they would sue us," Boucher said. "You know how that goes with other [businesses]."
A crowdfunding website was started for W.W. Bridal employees as they face unemployment. As of now, they have received $2,000 of their $90,000 goal.