NJ Bridal Salon Refuses To Sell Lesbian Bride A Gown

Every bride dreams about picking out her perfect wedding gown and then being told she is a sinner who will burn in the fire-y pits of hell. Oh, wait, she doesn’t? Then you fail, Here Comes the Bride of Somers Point, New Jersey. You fail big. Lesbian Alix Genter and her partner, who wishes to remain anonymous, are planning to get a civil union in New Jersey, where they live, and marry in New York, which legalized gay marriage in June. Last Saturday, Alix and six familiy members and friends went to a bridal salon called Here Comes the Bride to try on dresses. With her mom, her dad, her aunt, her cousin and two friends beside her, she found an almost-perfect gown for her wedding next summer but wanted it in a different fabric. So, she left the bridal salon and the manager offered to find out about the gown and call her back.

Last Tuesday, Genter got a call from Donna, the store’s manager who refused to give her last name to Philly.com. Donna had finally noticed on Alix’s customer information sheet that she had crossed out the word “groom” and written the word “partner.” So Donna decided to call Alix and leave a voicemail with a piece of her mind.

Philly.com verified the voicemail and subsequent two phone conversations with both Alix the bride and Donna the manager and, boy, was there a lot of bigotry and ignorance. Donna told the bride-to-be in her voicemail she would not work with her because Alix is gay, it was a shame she was homosexual, and, “There’s right and there’s wrong. And this is wrong.”

She also said her civil union would be illegal — in NJ it would not, in fact, be illegal — and “we do not participate in any illegal actions.”

Alix Genter did not take this lying down. She called Donna from Here Comes The Bride back crying and told her she’s a bigot and a miserable person. Donna then hung up on her. Alix called her back again and used “some choice words,” as Philly.com puts it.

A columnist from Philly.com, Ronnie Polaneczky, gave Donna a call yesterday and found the bigoted bridal salon owner unusually chatty. She accused Alix of “stirring up drama,” being “aggressive,” and writing the word partner instead of groom to be provocative and “show that she’s different. They get that way.” The bridal salon owner then went off on a rant about gay people she’s known who’ve molested kids and committed violence, as well something about Navy SEALs. But, oh boy, the best part was when she suggested the columnist interview Alix’s father for the column because she “sensed” his disappointment that Alix was marrying a woman.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised anymore by bigotry. I know I shouldn’t be surprised at paternalism, either (“you should call her father,” etc.). And I know I shouldn’t be surprised that someone who is so ignorant about gay people would think they choose to be gay to disappoint their parents and molest little kids. That must doesn’t shock me anymore! But somehow this story gets to me for this reason: that in this economy, a small business owner would put her own bigotry before selling someone their wedding gown.


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