Last week, a New Jersey bridal store manager refused to sell a dress to a customer when she found out she was a lesbian. The manager's reasoning is bigoted (obviously), and also extremely bizarre.
According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Alix Genter and her mom, dad, aunt, cousin, and two family friends arrived at Here Comes the Bride in Somers Point, NJ last Saturday. Her mom had packed muffins for the trip, and they had also brought champagne. This family sounds awesome. Genter found a dress she liked and everything was fine, until a store manager identified only as Donna called on Tuesday. She had read Genter's customer-information form, on which she'd crossed out "groom" and written "partner," and said she wouldn't sell Genter a dress because she was gay. Donna explained that "we do not participate in any illegal actions."
Given that Genter plans to get married in New York, where gay marriage is now legal (woo!), and in any case there's no law against a lesbian wearing a wedding dress or having a ceremony, Donna's explanation is not just homophobic but ridiculous. The Daily News's Ronnie Polaneczky called her for clarification, and this is what she got:
She said that [Genter's] writing the word "partner" was basically a provocation, evidence of a need "to show that she's different."
"They get that way," she told me.
By "they," she meant women who were fed up with men because "men can be difficult," and so now they "experiment" with female relationships because they're tired of having men boss them around.
She told me about a friend whose wife left him for another woman. And about a young family member who was molested by a same-sex adult male. And about a gay man who once plunged a knife into a chair in the restaurant where she worked. And — she finally lost me here — something about the Navy SEALs.
I'm not sure if it makes the situation better or worse that in addition to being prejudiced, Donna may also be deranged. Maybe it's comforting to learn that the person who discriminated against you sounds like a freelance kook, but then again, when plenty of people holding public office discriminate in the same way, that may not be very reassuring. Hopefully Genter will get the last laugh by holding a joyful and legal wedding with her loving family — the ceremony is scheduled for next July.
Ronnie Polaneczky: Store Dresses Down Bride For Being A Lesbian [Philadelphia Daily News]
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