Imagine this: the big day is coming up. The wedding you had dreamt about since you were a child is all coming into place, with bridesmaids at the ready, location and décor all chosen, invitations sent out and wedding officiant and DJ booked as well! You are still, however, in search of the perfect dress. But when you go into the bridal shop and express your excitement of getting married to the love of your life, the shop employees or owner themselves refuse to sell you a dress. Why? All because you are getting married to a person of the same sex. Here is what you should do if you are being denied a wedding dress just because you are a lesbian.
For Those Who Think This Is a “Nonissue”
There have been numerous reports since the past few years about bridal shop owners refusing service to lesbian couples.
W.W. Bridal Boutique in Pennsylvania denied a lesbian couple wedding gowns last year, and also in 2014 based purely off of religious biases.
Later an LGBT ordinance was introduced by the state last year, which prohibits businesses from discriminating against those belonging to the LGBT community because of religious beliefs.
This actually “scared” W.W. Bridal Boutique, who have now closed their shop as they cannot deny lesbian couples wedding gowns anymore.
Why It Is Wrong For Bridal Shops To Refuse Service To Lesbian Couples?
Religious beliefs aside, if you are operating a public business, the services should be available to everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. You need to deal with people on a human level, and a business, no matter the idea behind it, you should cater to all your customers in a professional manner. Tinsley Keefe, wedding officiant from Oklahoma City, also stated that at the end of the day, your business is your livelihood, and a way to sustain yourself and your family. Why would you throw that away just because of your bias?
The Impact Rejection Has On Same-Sex Couples
Those belonging to the LGBTQ community have faced some form of discrimination at some time in their life. Not only is this morally wrong, but it has lasting psychological and emotional effects on LGBTQ+ people.
A research study by CAP 21 of those belonging to the LGBTQ community feel that it would be “not possible,” or “very difficult,” to be treated the same as heterosexual couples at stores selling clothing for wedding ceremonies, whereas 39% of LGBTQ nonmetro individuals said that it would be, “not possible,” or “very difficult” to receive unbiased service at a wedding attire retail store.
This can give you a good idea as to the anxiety and fear that same-sex couples must go through while stepping out and legally and rightfully paying for services they deserve. Another survey conducted by CAP found that 1/3 of all LGBTQ people have been subjected to discrimination in the past year or so, and thus have reported being steer clear of most public places, such as shopping malls and restaurants, out of fear.
APA stated that: “Dealing with discrimination results in a state of heightened vigilance and changes in behavior, which in itself can trigger stress responses – that is, even the anticipation of discrimination can cause stress.”
To feel fearless at your wedding, make sure to hire a wedding officiant from Oklahoma who understands your concerns, and does not pass any judgment based on their personal beliefs. Also make sure that your wedding officiant from OKC deals with you and your partner, exactly how they would treat any other couple, regardless of sexual orientation.