“Live and let live” seems to be a “buzz” phrase among same-sex marriage activists. Yet, when they are given the chance to prove their commitment to “tolerance”, we see activists choose instead to bully those with whom they disagree. A recent incident involving a family-owned bridal shop sadly, does not disprove these stereotypes.
In the US state of Pennsylvania, a bridal shop has come under fire for declining service to a same-sex couple for their upcoming “marriage”. What is more, the bridal shop had already been brought to media attention for declining to serve another same-sex couple in 2014:
A Pennsylvania bridal salon that caused a stir in 2014 after turning away a lesbian couple is, once again, feeling the heat over its owners’ opposition to same-sex marriage.
Shannon Kennedy and Julie Ann Samanas visited W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, to look for wedding attire July 8, but were told by an employee that they would have to shop elsewhere as the salon’s owners were opposed to same-sex marriage, Philadelphia Gay News reported.
She said, ‘I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we’re Christian and we don’t believe in that; our faith doesn’t let us believe in that,’” Kennedy told the paper. She and Samanas didn’t challenge the staff member, whose name has not been disclosed, and left without incident. “I think we were kind of in shock,” she said. “It was unexpected. Afterwards, you think of everything you should have said.”
However, the couple took to Facebook to speak of their experience, which predictably, incited hostile comments against the shop owners. What is truly telling about this case is the sad reality it demonstrates.
According to The Christian Post, the owner of the shop, Victoria Miller, received nasty, threatening messages for the first incident. This time, the backlash is even more sinister. In response, this has prompted the Bridal Shop to close its doors, only receiving those who schedule an appointment ahead of time:
Some LGBT supporters did not respond too kindly to the news of W.W. Bridal's refusal of service to Samanas and Kennedy. According to Rich Penkoski, a West Virginia-based pastor who has been in contact with Miller and her family and has even taken over administration duties on the bridal shop's Facebook page, Miller has decided to close her shop temporarily and only accept appointments.
The decision, Penkoski said, was due in part to the fact that they have been threatened by a person angry with their choice to refuse service for same-sex weddings. Penkoski shared audio of a voicemail the shop received on Tuesday with CP.
"You stupid f****** bigots. We are coming for you and your family," a man declared in the voicemail. "We are going to tear your shop a part and make you feel as bad as you have made people feel. You f****** bigot scum. You are going down and so is all your employees and their families. You're done!"
"They went through this in 2014 but this one for some reason is getting worse," Penkoski said on Wednesday. "They got a message from somebody today named Danny that said they have a 'few surprises' for them. That is kind of what prompted this. She did this back in 2014 as well until things blew over," he continued.
After going through such an experience, it is understandable why the bridal shop would take such quick action to state their stance before things developed further. On the flip side, it is entirely possible that Kennedy and Samanas didn’t recognise the bridal shop, or have a chance to see the statement on the shop’s website stating the owner’s defence of marriage being uniquely between a man and a woman.
As Miller herself stated, she is not against serving individuals who identify with the LGBTI community. In an effort to hold to her beliefs, she simply must draw the line at marriage:
National media outlets began picking up on the story, and Miller advised that the shop serves homosexuals, but cannot assist with same-sex events, which would be a form of personal participation. “We have provided formal wear for our customers from all walks of life, including the LGBTQ community. We have always served everyone with respect and dignity,” she told the Huffington Post. “It is just this event, a same-sex marriage, which we cannot participate in due to our personal convictions.”
“We simply ask that we be given the same ability to live our lives according to our convictions,” Miller said.
Nonetheless, as other cases have demonstrated, the LGBTI lobby is relentless, and will return to harass individuals whom they have already bullied or targeted. Even if Samanas and Kennedy didn’t intend to participate in deliberate targeting of Miller’s bridal shop, they still spread the story via social media, inciting other same-sex marriage activists. Despite their statements, their actions align with the known formula of the LGBTI lobby: deliberately target those who don’t comply, and keep going back to taunt, test, and attack dissenters.
Because of their own intolerance, the same-sex marriage lobby cannot understand that “disagreement” does not mean “hate,” nor “refusal to serve” means “prejudiced views”. Since they fail to grasp this, we are left in our current reality until the issue of same-sex marriage is decided once and for all by the people. As the US incident shows, when you don’t allow the people to decide, the issue isn’t resolved – it only gets worse.