Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bridal Shop Refuses to Serve Lesbian Bride; Describes Gay Wedding as an "Illegal Action"

Talk about lucking out.  Alix Genter and her partner are getting married next summer.  They live in New Jersey (where they will apply for civil unions) and hold their wedding in New York.  They also have a big reception planned for their friends and family following the wedding.  According to this article, Genter and her family spent an afternoon at Here comes the Bride, a bridal salon in Somers Point, NJ.  She picked out her dress and then waited for the salon owner to get back to her regarding some special fabric requests.  Then things went wrong:
So how weird it must have been to get a call on Tuesday from Donna (she wouldn't tell you her last name, and she wouldn't tell me, either, when I spoke with her yesterday), and to have a conversation so different from the one you had with her on Saturday. Apparently, Donna was stunned to learn, after reviewing your customer-information sheet, that you're a lesbian. On the paperwork, you'd crossed out the word "groom" and written "partner" instead, and then inserted your fiancée's name. "She said she wouldn't work with me because I'm gay," you recalled. "She also said that I came from a nice Jewish family, and that it was a shame I was gay. She said, 'There's right, and there's wrong. And this is wrong.'" She also said - and you have the voicemail to prove it - that what you were planning was "illegal" and that "we do not participate in any illegal actions." "I was devastated," you told me. "I was crying. I called her a bigot; I told her, 'I am a happy person and you are a miserable person.' Then she hung up on me." You admit to using some choice words when you called her back. But trust me, whatever you said was probably poetry compared with what I believe most decent people would've spewed at her on your behalf.
In other words, Genter lucked out.  Instead of getting into a contract with someone who disrespects her, her future bride, and her family, she now has the ability to find a new dress maker who will respect her business and honor Genter's future wedding with a beautifully crafted dress.

Trust me, Genter is better without Donna and Here Comes the Bride.  Listen to what Donna said to this columnist:
When I called Donna yesterday to get her side of the story, she both confirmed your version of events and accused you of "stirring up drama." She said that your writing the word "partner" was basically a provocation, evidence of a need "to show that she's different. They get that way," she told me.

By "they," she meant women who were fed up with men because "men can be difficult," and so now they "experiment" with female relationships because they're tired of having men boss them around. She told me about a friend whose wife left him for another woman. And about a young family member who was molested by a same-sex adult male. And about a gay man who once plunged a knife into a chair in the restaurant where she worked. And - she finally lost me here - something about the Navy SEALs. "It's a lot of drama," she said.

She also found you "aggressive," didn't appreciate your cursing and thought I should speak with your father before writing this column, as she "sensed" his disappointment in your decision to marry a woman.
I'm glad that Genter has gone public with this very negative consumer experience.  Now others will now what kind of business Here Comes the Bride is and won't have to experience what she and her partner have. 

But I also hope that she is able to move beyond this situation..Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the best days of your life.  You are spending lots of money on clothing and food and services and venues.  You do not want to get weighed down by loose cannon businesses who don't support you or your wedding.  There is always someone better who wants your business and who respects you and your business.

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