(CNSNews.com) -- The Christian owners of a bridal boutique in Pennsylvania who refused to make wedding gowns for two lesbians and bridesmaids dresses for their cross-dressing groomsmen were bullied for sticking to their religious beliefs.
Al Luschas, an attorney representing Victoria and Thomas Miller - proprietors of W.W. Bridal Boutique, which has been family owned and operated for two decades in Bloomsburg, Penn. - said they were victims of “very vicious attacks across the board” even though they did nothing illegal.
The attacks included “very, very nasty telephone messages in which people said ‘I hope you get raped,’ or ‘I hope your children get raped,’ and a whole series of violet threats,” Luschas told CNSNews.com.
In addition to the verbal threats, Luschas added, some people posted “false bad reviews online.”
“Their website was also hacked by a group, which posted on their website that they had gone out of business. Two local news stations then broadcast that they had gone out of business, so they were fielding frantic calls from girls who had ordered wedding dresses. It’s been a difficult time for these people,” he said.
According to the shop's website, customers can now be seen "by appointment only."
Luschas, who noted that the Millers have been “instructed not to comment,” declined to say whether the couple intends to pursue legal action.
However, a town spokeswoman told CNSNews.com that the Bloomsburg Town Council’s Commerce and Economic Development Committee will meet on August 26th to discuss a proposed ordinance that Luschas says would “make any discrimination against gays and lesbians illegal.”
In a Facebook post, a woman identified as G. Andrea Shay said that she had called the shop to schedule an appointment to order two wedding dresses as well as “dresses for the groomsmen.”
“I was put on hold for about 5 minutes so the lady could get her appointment book. She took me off hold and said unfortunately she would not be able to schedule an appointment for us because they currently do not service same sex couples and it’s just not something they do,” Shay reportedly said in a Facebook post.
Calling the shop “strange and rude,” she added:
"My husband and I tried to give W. W. Bridal our business, but when the management found out that we needed to order a wedding gown for my husband, and dresses for the groomsmen, they would not allow us to order from them claiming that such a thing would 'Break God's Law.' So they do not want money from people who enjoy cross-dressing. They insisted that we 'Must be gay,' since we wear clothing of the opposite sex. Very strange and rude management."
In a statement to the local newspaper, Thomas Miller, Jr. said that the shop had inadvertently accepted a prior order for a wedding dress from a same-sex couple in June.
“We faced the gay marriage issue knowingly for the first time in June of this year, when one of our employees accepted a wedding dress order from a gay couple. When we realized what had happened, we decided that we had an obligation to follow through for them,” Miller wrote. “We will complete the order we received in June or provide a full refund. The choice is theirs. W.W. Bridal has never failed to honor a commitment.
“But, now we had to decide whether or not our conscience and faith would allow us to participate in future gay and lesbian weddings. To be clear, our objection is not at all directed to gays or lesbians as individuals. We will sell our products to gay individuals. It is our participation in the marital process between same sex couples which we concluded to be a violation of a sacred tenant of our religious faith, which is that a marriage is a commitment between a male and a female.“
“The gay and lesbian community has won a hard-fought battle to protect their liberty and rights to pursue happiness. But, does that give gay activists the right to take our liberty and to restrain our right to pursue our religious faith as we see fit?” Miller asked.