Pennsylvania Christian bridal shop to close for good after getting threats for denying service to gay couple

A bridal shop in Pennsylvania would rather close its doors than provide wedding dresses for gay couples because it goes against the faith of its Christian owners.

(REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)A shop assistant talks on the phone at a bridal gown store.

Victoria Miller, who co-owns W.W. Bridal Boutique, confirmed the closure in light of the threats and harassment they received for refusing to provide their services to a gay couple in 2017. The shop owners also believe that the situation will only get worse for their business as a proposed ordinance favoring gay rights might soon become a law.

"The members of our town council have made it known they will pass an ordinance soon," Miller wrote in her social media profile. "We have chosen to close rather than be forced to go against our faith."

Last July, Julie Ann Samanas and Shannon Kennedy wanted to buy a wedding dress at the W.W. Bridal Boutique. They wrote both their names down as brides-to-be in the store's form but an employee flatly refused to provide service to them because of their sexual orientation.

Miller explained that while the store has provided formal attires to the LGBTQ community in the past, it cannot - as a matter of conviction - do the same for same-sex marriages. In 2014, the shop refused another same-sex couple who also had plans to marry. 

Since then, W.W. Bridal Boutique has been the subject of death threats in the form of letters, phone calls and social media posts, as well as false online reviews from the public. These types of behavior forced the owners to temporarily close shop and handle sales by appointment only as they waited for the controversy to die down.

But the problem has only gotten worse for the family-owned business that co-owner Lisa Boucher has no idea what will happen after the store closes. Recently, the shop's Facebook page also posted the threats the company received over the years.

The shop will permanently close its doors on March 30 after 36 years of operation.