Free to Believe

Victoria and Tom Miller

W.W. Bridal Boutique: Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

When a couple identifying as lesbian contacted W.W. Bridal Boutique for an appointment in the summer of 2014, owner Victoria Miller explained that she couldn't help the women find gowns for a ceremony that violated her Christian faith. Right now, an employee explained, the Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania store doesn't service same-sex weddings. Instead of showing the tolerance their movement claims to practice, the women turned to social media to bully the shop, trashing its online reviews and sparking a city-wide firestorm. Miller, who owned the store with her husband Tom and whose orthodox beliefs were in the bulls-eye, indicated that she wasn't backing down.

"We feel we have to answer to God for what we do," she told reporters, "and providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God's law." Victoria and Tom Miller were stunned at the number of death threats they had received since turning down a double-gown order for a lesbian wedding. Local liberals were so incensed by the couple's decision that they convened a special meeting of the Bloomsburg city council for the sole purpose of drafting a local ordinance the the couple identifying as gay could sue under.

At a packed meeting, the two sides squared off on a possible nondiscrimination proposal. Friends of the lesbian couple accused the W.W. Bridal Boutique of prejudice and hate, two labels that were difficult to believe when Tom Miller himself spoke up. "We do give service to those people," he explained. "But we draw the line at bridal." The owner's attorney, Al Luschas, has pointed out his clients have a liberty interest in declining to be involved in a wedding that violates their firmly and honestly-held religious beliefs.

Photo: © Family Research Council