Shop At Center of Same-Sex Controversy Says ‘Business As Usual’ After Misleading Facebook Post

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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.


  • TPAKyle

    Deuteronomy 22:13-21 mandates that brides who are found to not be virgins on their wedding night are to be dropped on their father’s doorstep and stoned to death by the townsmen.

    Cake Pros does not ask brides wishing to order a wedding cake if they are, indeed, virgins. Cake Pros does not ask if brides have previously divorced. Nor do they ask if the newlywed couple plans to have children and, if not, do they intend to remain celibate. Being complicit to any of these acts is regarded as an abomination in the Bible.

    If the shop owners are truly running their business by biblical views and religious values they would refuse to bake cakes for non-virgin brides, previously divorced brides or couples planning to have “marital relations” that do not lead to procreation. But Cake Pros doesn’t refuse to bake cakes for any of these customers.

    Despite cheerfully serving brides who are clearly making a conscious choice to deny god’s word, Cake Pros only refuses to serve same-gender couples in a state where same-gender couples getting married is a perfectly legal arrangement. This is exactly how we know they run their business by ignorance and bigotry rather than Christian values.

    • Andrew N.

      You have a severe lack of understanding… Maybe you should try to learn the difference between the new and Old Testament before telling Christians they should be acting the way Muslims still do.

  • Ella

    Why didn’t this gay couple just go somewhere else? Does anyone really think they would have made such a big deal out of this if the shop owner was a Muslim? Or black? Seems to me it’s obviously open season on Christians. The gov’t needs to keep out of this and the gay community needs to stop cramming their agenda down everyone’s throat. All your doing is agitating and antagonizing. I support the shop owner’s decision. It’s her shop, she pays for it.

  • Deb

    I am a Christian that views sexual immorality of “any” form as a sin. I am a person that will maintain an open dialogue with anyone regardless of their opinion or orientation but it doesn’t mean I accept their behavior. Gay marriage has been forced upon everyone, talking about “their” rights. What about the rights and beliefs of a Christian. Everyone has a right to not accept there behavior and refuse service if they choose. What is our country turning into when we are told what we can and can not do. Sounds to me that it is turning into prejudice against Christians.

    • ajb

      Gay marriage is being forced on everyone?? The last time I checked I haven’t been forced to marry a man, nor has my girlfriend been forced to marry a woman. You don’t have to agree with their “behavior”, you just have to respect the fact that it is their right to have said behavior. Are you really just realizing we are told what we can and can not do?!? That is the entire point of laws! Christians have the right to practice their religion, pray where ever they see fit, etc.. what they do NOT have the right to do is to discriminate against people based on their sexual preference.. plain and simple. You can make up whatever religious justification you want to back up the discrimination of gay couple, but it does NOT change the fact that it is, indeed, discrimination.

      • Andrew N.

        Wow, you really don’t understand do you? Christians are forced when they are required to service or participate in gay weddings. So a christian photographer should be mandated by the government, under threat of imprisonment or loosing everything, to take pictures of gay weddings. Or a baker to write Joe & Jim together forever on their gay cake? Or this bridal shop to mire themselves in sin by being apart of their gayness? LEAVE US ALONE! Shall a black photographer be mandated to attend the local KKK get together? Thought so…

      • Ella

        You are using bullying tactics to force others to give in to your beliefs. Are you saying the shop owner’s beliefs are invalid simply because you disagree with her? Who are you to say she’s wrong? It’s her shop, she pays for it, she has her own set of beliefs…it’s not like there aren’t other bridal shops in the area. This is bullying not discrimination.

  • Truth

    Bloomsburg, bunch of anit-christian bullies…gay marriage has been forced upon PA for what, only several months. and they are surprised some people want nothing to do with it. Don’t they have more important things to worry about; like what are they going to do next time they get washed away by a flood. I’ll bet they haven’t even recovered from the last one.

    • Chelsea

      Your grammar is impeccable!!! Gay marriage was not “forced upon PA,” it’s what the majority wanted! Unless you know these girls or the shop owner please keep your poorly written comments to yourself.

    • ajb

      You’re making fun of Bloomsburg because it was devastated by a natural disaster?? That really shows YOUR character, not the character of these so called “Anti-Christian bullies”.

      • Truth

        Where did I make fun of anybody? Just stating facts, they have more important things to worry about. Talk about character though, bullying and hacking a Christian bridal shop owner because they don’t support something their faith says is wrong shows the their true charecter. Didn’t they say this kind of thing wasn’t going to happen, nobody needed to worry about gay marriage becoming legal it wasn’t going to affect anybody? lol riiiiiight.

    • Truth

      To clarify what I meant was…it’s a fact the earth is warming, ocean levels are rising and scientists say to expect more and more severe floods. Bloomsburg is flood prone as we saw a couple years ago so what are they doing about that?

  • Stephen L

    Homosexuality is an abomination.
    Wearing a poly cotton, poly wool, cotton wool blend is an abomination.
    There are no degrees of abomination.
    So, why do you carry clothing of abomination?
    How can you pick and choose?

    If you lose business maybe that’s God’s doing for your bridal shop passing judgment in his name.

  • Samantha

    My understanding is that the people that own WW Bridals are very Christian and traditional. I wonder if the owner refuses to sell dresses to women that are pregnant or have had children out of wedlock. Isn’t that against Christian beliefs? Premarital sex. Just a thought.

    • Andrew N.

      Different sins effect society, the family, and individuals very differently. The effect of homosexuality is increasingly more harmful than an un-wed pregnant woman. Of course God views all sin equally, but what is a Christian to do. Refuse to wed someone who is pregnant? That further exacerbates the problem… A christian should do everything they can to get her wed to have a stable family, including providing a dress.

  • Choppy (@choppinfirewood)

    The part that bothers me is…would they refuse to sell to someone who they know is having premarital sex?, or is very fat? The issue with me is they cherry pick the homosexuality as the “big sin” but there are many other that they ignore. I’m all for religion being a driving force in your life, but be consistent.

  • tom

    If i owned a business-i would not refuse anyone if I could make a sale.That’s profit-that’s what I would want.It’s 2014-get over the old ideas-people are people.I know a lot of so called people in the norm-but they are rotten.

  • simple logic

    The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

    Sexual orientation is not a choice, just like those mentioned above, and should be added to the list. This is a simple matter of NOT SETTING A DOUBLE STANDARD with federal laws.

    • simple logic

      Aside from religion.. Religion is a choice, and we grant anti-discrimination laws based on that, so this reinforces the fact that sexual orientation should be on the list.

  • Bev

    This bridal shop sucks anyway and the staff is rude regardless of sexual orientation, they should have went to exclusively you.

  • Bob from Plains

    As a straight male who really doesn’t care who marries who, I have to ask, in a world with a terrible economy like we have now, who in their right mind would reject selling TWO dresses?!?!?

  • Kacey

    While I fully believe in equality for everyone, I say let this business sink on their own. We want a right to choose, they should be given that same right. We all have to deal with the consequences of our decisions.

  • Viv

    If you don’t like it, don’t shop there. Simple as that. Look, I may not agree with this business practice, but they are allowed to do this. The more you take this right away, the less rights you’ll have.

    It’s not right, in my opinion and it’s not good for business, but they as business owners are allowed to refuse business to anyone for any reason. Unless they harassed you, get over and move on.

    • Ed

      Well, then perhaps business owners should put a sign in the window explaining they are bigots or homophobes so a person does not need to shop there first to find out.

      • Viv

        Whose to say they were rude about it? Don’t assume just because they don’t agree with gay marriage that they’re hateful.

      • Lori

        Yes Ed! Why don’t we do that for everyone then? Just have every single person whose hateful or just generally a not nice person wear color coordinated sashes so we can mock them and make them ashamed?

        Guess what, the world is filled with people who have different opinions on things and opinions you may view as wrong and unacceptable. But, they as human beings have a right to think however they want, especially here in America. You move on and get over it. If you don’t like it, don’t support their business.

        They are, in fact, able to refuse people without giving a reason. Welcome to having rights in a free country. It is the same reasoning why the Westboro Baptist Church is allowed to protest funerals and the KKK is allowed to have meetings. Just because we don’t agree with their reasoning doesn’t mean we cannot allow it. Its freedom to practice their beliefs as long as they aren’t hurting anyone. I highly doubt being able to shop at a mediocre bridal shop is worth the trouble. The minute you start restricting other peoples practices is the minute you start taking even more of our rights away from us. Think about the big picture, not just your over inflated sense of social justice.

    • Ed

      No Jews or African Americans can shop here either, I suppose? As long as the business owners don’t like you, you can’t shop here??? Oh, but if they are polite about it, that makes it OK? This is the flawed logic people are using and it’s disturbing.

  • Jim Brony

    The vocal minority had their day in the sun, now it’s time for them to move on to the next spotlight like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. I’m proud of W.W. for standing their ground and taking the high road. It’s really quite simple, if you went to a shop or store that posted a sign that said “We prefer not to provide service to (x)” just take your business elsewhere. Why make such a big deal about it? These days there are loads of places to do the same business. And before I hear ‘hypocrite’ or ‘bigot’ – I belong to a lineage that was heavily looked down upon and is still discriminated against. Get over yourself and move on – you’re no more important than the next man or woman.

  • Joe

    Why a gay couple would want to live here in “hillbilly haven” is beyond me. They don’t exactly roll out the Welcome Wagon for us.

    • JK

      My boyfriend and I live out in the central mountain….Clinton county…area is beautiful people not so much. You are suspected of being gay if you don’t drive a pickup lifted at least 30 feet off the ground and carry *everywhere*. If you go to the liberry (sic) you better be a female checking out romance novels to read while you stay home. Don’t be one of those libs that doesn’t want us smoking around our kids. And peen(sic) state is beyond reproach no matter how much child abuse they cover up. Any domestic behavior is ok when it comes to football related but two girls getting married? No way. Let them each marry a jock who can beat them, drag them down steps, shoot them through a bathroom door whatever we’re ok with that as long as he’s an athletic talent. Can’t wait to see all the down votes truth hurts.

  • Nikk

    Guess stores can now refuse close minded bigots. And if someone would refuse to serve someone due to their skin color or gender, it would be considered unjust, what makes this case any different?

    • M Beck

      Exactly! If discrimination is going to be tolerated based on religion, than how is the public to know which business to patronize??? Is there a need to go back to “Jim-Crow”?

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