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Homophobic bridal shop owner refuses to sell wedding dress to lesbian bride

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A New Jersey bridal shop has refused to sell a wedding dress to a lesbian bride-to-be, calling the couple’s pending nuptials an “illegal action.”

Shop owner Donna Saber at “Here Comes The Bride” in Somers Point, N.J. told customer Alix Genter that she wouldn’t work with her because she is gay, and in a voice message, that what Genter was planning is “illegal” and that “we do not participate in any illegal actions,” reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Genter and her partner are planning their “legal” New York wedding ceremony.

In reality, the only illegal action was that of the store.

Like many other states, including California, New York, Illinois, and Colorado, New Jersey bars sexual orientation discrimination in places of public accommodation.

Most statutes define public accommodations as places that are open to the public, such as a business, hotel, entertainment venue, restaurant, and doctor’s office.

Owners, managers and employees of these spaces are generally not permitted to deny, directly or indirectly, any service, benefit or privilege on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation.

Saber has accused Genter of “stirring up drama,” and said that writing the word “partner” — after crossing out “groom” — on her customer-information fact sheet was basically a provocation, evidence of a need “to show that she’s different … They get that way.”

Saber also railed about women who would “experiment” with female relationships because “men can be difficult,” and added that she “sensed” Gerber’s father’s disappointment in her decision to marry a woman. “It’s a lot of drama,” she concluded.

Whether or not the shop will face legal action is unclear, however, but the incident has become a public relations nightmare for the shop.

Since the story broke last week, Here Comes The Bride’s Yelp page has been flooded with negative reviews, rebukes and one-star ratings.

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Filed under: New Jersey

54 more reader comments:

  1. Whaaaaat!?!? How can you refuse service of theyre going to pay you!?

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:32am
  2. W O W . That’s just Immature

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:32am
  3. Discriminatory jerks like that shouldn’t be in business. Shame on that them.
    They probably have ugly over priced dresses anyway :P

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:33am
  4. What a freaking hose bag. I Detest A- holes like that.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:33am
  5. wow will we ever be liked? jerks!

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:34am
  6. I’m sure there are bridal shops that would let her buy something. How dumb is it to refuse peolple. The shop owner’s homophobia is going to cost her money .

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:34am
  7. The only people stirring up drama is themselves :P They’re starting a whole big deal out of nothing just because they’re close minded, homophobic idiots :)

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:34am
  8. she’ll lose a lot of buisness and could end up getting sued if she continues this way. I hope that the bride to be does sue her and show her that this community is strong and will not tolerate homophobia of any kind!

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:36am
  9. Business owners have the right to refuse service to anyone. People need to stop being so damn fast to throw the gay card!

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:36am
  10. How ridiculous!!

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:36am
  11. What an asshole!

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:36am
  12. Shocking.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:37am
  13. That’s just BRUTAL, I’m sure she can find a more genuine shop, and get a beautiful dress for her special day! <3

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:37am
  14. ^ Its not a good business practice, though…

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:37am
  15. I wonder if there is such a thing as a negative rating…..

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:39am
  16. @Apple head they do have the right to refuse service but not if it’s involving discrimination as the article states!

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:40am
  17. Pull the gay card? The woman said she won’t sell the dress to a lesbian bride, to be disgusted by clear bigotry is not pulling any sort of card.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:40am
  18. what is it of their business, isnt their job is just to sell a dress? some ppl make me sick

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:47am
  19. Well, the good thing about her blatant homophobia is at least I know where I will NEVER shop. I do not want to support a bigot.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:50am
  20. The conservatives are always touting the free market, and saying that businesses shouldn’t be regulated, even for things like discrimination. In this case, their way makes sense- let the free market rule by having moral people boycott the bridal shop. Nobody’s forcing her to sell dresses to people she doesn’t like, and nobody’s forcing the rest of us to buy anything at her store……she should be out of business in a few months….

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:54am
  21. Yes businesses have the right to refuse service to anybody, but to openly say that you wont help someone due to sexual orientation is a load of crap. So the bride to be wasnt throwing the gay card, the business owner did that for her!

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:57am
  22. Wedding dresses should be happy !!! Cross the bridge to NYC and get a very fabulous dress with wonderful service !!

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:58am
  23. Bull shit….

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:01am
  24. I was born and raised in New Jersey and now i am sorry to claim it as my home state. WTF is wrong with people damn. That bridal shop owner is a bigot and she needs to be sued and fine for hatred.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:06am
  25. Not illegal in all states. Should be legal and smiled upon nationally. And its a dress…stop covering up your homophobia with lame excuses.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:09am
  26. This is NOT okay

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:10am
  27. I am a small business owner here in Iowa. I don’t discrimenate against or refuse business to anyone. I make “Naughty or Nice” cake’s. I have found out that some oof my customer/friend’s that order from me can be very “Unique” in their order’s. I have also had one or two disturbing order’s but nothing that I would turn away. The customer has a right to get what they want when they order it. Now this business owner just lost how much in profit’s and revenue due to her lack of “Commen Sense” as a business owner. I also live inbetween 3 small town’s and people here have accepted me and my girlfriend. We both like to stand out a bit, she has a bleached mowhawk and I have my hair any color I want to have it at the time. People are a little shocked at 1st, but they have accepted us for who we are, Human Being’s. This Bridal Shop owner just closed her own business down in one action. I don’t feel sorry for her.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:10am
  28. She has the “right” to say no…that’s her choice as a business owner. I’d like the “right” to say “I do”…that should be my choice as a tax paying citizen. After all this is AMERICA…don’t worry crusaders….we will not move backwards. Unite with love.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:11am
  29. What’s illegal in selling a wedding dress to a lesbian woman?

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:15am
  30. not to mention educated …

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:16am
  31. What a bitch. I hope she goes out of business

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:17am
  32. That is REDICUOUS! ]:<

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:17am
  33. The owner of the store is a moron, she should have kept her mouth shut and taken the money.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:35am
  34. Grow up

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:37am
  35. ENOUGH!!!!! my daughter is smart ,kind,compassionate & forgiving.Last time I looked a higher power judged people and no one is perfect.Learn from the mistakes made by “Perfect People”in our past.First the Irish,then the Jewish,then the African Americans everytime something is different,we run from it.I’m not saying you have to live with the Gay community,you would’nt know anyway.TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN LIVES.I’m proud that my Daughter is Gay.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:40am
  36. Get with the program people

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:44am
  37. Hope all those negative reviews teach her a lesson about discrimination and that no one, gay or straight uses her services.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 12:00pm
  38. then take your dollars somewhere else

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 12:15pm
  39. Fucking discusting…i should go in there and hit on this bitch just to creep her out

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 12:22pm
  40. Good thing the buyer was refused. No sense putting profits in the pockets of bigots to give to Focus on the Family or some other vile organization using the US tax code to forward their agenda. We REALLY need to start a movement to disqualify these backward thinking bigotted organizations from being not-for-profits. Think about it. Half or more of their budgets go to stopping gay friendly legislation as they did in CA. It is time to silence these villians and take away government benefits as they are trying to do to others.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 12:30pm
  41. It could of been here comes the bride…..but now it is here comes the lawsuit ……there is nothing good that will come to you by discriminating against others.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 12:53pm
  42. DOES ANYONE USE SPELLCHECKER ?????

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:10pm
  43. there goes ur business.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:13pm
  44. This makes me sick!!!

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:36pm
  45. Illegal activity is selling her the dress? Really?

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:37pm
  46. It’s a strong probability the store owner belongs to some church organization which is homophobic. So her pastor tells everyone that even being LGBT is a sin. This bridal shop’s refusal of doing business in this case, makes the owner look good in heaven.
    [After all, it's how many brownie points one can accumulate in this life which will grant salvation... (and if you can believe that, there's a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you -- cheap!)]. :)

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 1:50pm
  47. Wrong, guy. Get a clue before you write. NJ has one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country and it includes sexual orientation. Businesses do NOT have the right to refuse service to people based on their sexual orientation in New Jersey. This business owner messed up big time, and I hope she is put out of business for it.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 2:57pm
  48. No, we live in a civil society where business owners to not get to act like this. It’s the price of doing business in a civil society. She should be out of business after the lawsuit in any event.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 2:59pm
  49. i just read the whole story and omg what the hell is wrong wit ppl . Reall why do you care as long as her money is real and green i will take it .. Also as a business owner it is not your business what is going on between your customer and her personal life …wtf … smh …

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 3:44pm
  50. shame on you. in business there is no gender or color …stupid prick

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 5:14pm
  51. what a bunch of effing MORONS!!!! if all the states would make it legal to marry same sex couples, we would be out of this damn recession from everyone getting married. Business is so great for Donna Saber that shes turning away customers? I say boycott her store and run it to the ground. Normally i wouldnt say that, but this is bullshit.

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:27pm
  52. Wow what a way to do business, just run folks off cause their gay, can you say bankrupt!A real N.J. LOSER !

    Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 11:09pm
  53. I read the story and was p**sed about the bulls**t. She wouldn’t have to worry about because I’m a lesbian and proud. Forget her a her damn store ..l.. B***h.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 9:25am
  54. This is 2011 and this kind of bigotry is disgusting and hurtful. It truly makes me sad.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 7:14am