Lesbian couple turned away from bridal store because of religious owners

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A lesbian couple from in the US has been turned away from a bridal shop because of the religious beliefs of the owners.

Shannon Kennedy and Julie Ann Samanas recently got engaged and visited the bridal shop to do some dress shopping for Samanas.

Julie Samanas (L) and Shannon Kennedy (R)
(Photo by Shannon Kennedy/Facebook)

The shop, W.W. Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, handed the couple a form to fill out when they got there.

The form asked for the name of the bride and groom, and so they crossed out groom and replaced it with Kennedy’s name.

When they handed the form back to the assistant, she reportedly asked if the wedding would be same-sex.

When the assistant came to realise this, she told the couple that the shop could not be of service to them.

Kennedy explained: “She said, ‘I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we’re Christian and we don’t believe in that; our faith doesn’t let us believe in that’.”

The pair left immediately as they were schooled that religion would stand in the way of their happy day.

Kennedy said: “I think we were kind of in shock.

“We all looked at each other and went, ‘Oo-k’ and walked out. It was unexpected. Afterwards, you think of everything you should have said.”

The couple took to Facebook to vent their frustrations at the situation in a post which they tagged the store in.

The store responded to the post, but it has since been deleted.

Julie Samanas (L) and Shannon Kennedy (R)
(Photo by Julie Ann Samanas/Facebook)

EPGN, a Philadelphia-based LGBT news site reported that it read: “The owners of W.W. Bridal Boutique reserve the rights afforded to them by the First Amendment of the Constitution to live out our lives according to our faith.

“‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ We will continue to serve our customers based on the tenets of our faith.”

The incident has left the couple shocked, but they have received an outpour of support from friends and family since.

Kennedy added: “I grew up about 20 minutes from there and I think about 90 percent of the people who commented were straight people I went to high school with, which is awesome.

“We had about 300 shares of our post, and I think we only saw two negative things.”

In 2014, W.W. Bridal faced controversy for a similar situation when they refused to serve a lesbian couple.

The WW Bridal shop’s owners admitted turning away a lesbian couple because of their religious beliefs and sought legal counsel in case the couple decide to sue.