BLOOMSBURG — At W. W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, there was an open sign on the front door Tuesday.
The business has been at the center of controversy after recently refusing to serve a same-sex couple because of the business owner’s religious beliefs.
According to the business’s Facebook page, the business is “permanently closed,” but the owner said that’s not true.
Folks with W. W. Bridal did not want to speak on camera, but told Newswatch 16 they want customers to know the truth: the Facebook post is a lie. It is business as usual at the dress shop.
“I do know they’ve been under a lot of pressure from people in the community to treat people equally and I know as a business owner I would like to treat my customers the same way I would like to be treated. I think that’s something that a majority of the businesses downtown feel,” said Dwayne Heisler, a downtown business owner.
Heisler and others are asking Bloomsburg Town Council to pass an ordinance that would ban businesses from discriminating against customers based on their sexual orientation. They packed a council meeting Monday night.
“This is something that’s really needed,” he said.
Online, Newswatch 16 found posts in support of W. W. Bridal.
One woman posted: “They have nothing to be ashamed about. They have every right and freedom to exercise their faith and take a stand for what they believe to be moral and right.”
Another agreed, posting: “Do not be ashamed for standing up for your beliefs. That’s why they are called your beliefs, and if I’m not mistaken, we are still allowed to have our own in this free country.”
Still, some said while the business owners have a right to do what they want, it does not mean they should turn people away.
“Every business has their right to serve or not serve anybody, but singling out gay couples is kind of screwy. I don’t really understand,” said Scott Stefanowicz of Bloomsburg.