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Same Sex Marriage Debate Plays Out In New Jersey Dress Shop

When a woman is planning on buying her wedding dress, it can be an anxiety-evoking ordeal. Sure, there is excitement and joy, but there is also fear and worry. What if no dress fits just right? Will she know the right dress when she tries it on?

One worry that no bride should have to deal with, however, is whether or not a wedding dress shop will sell her a dress. One New Jersey bride claims she was turned away from a local shop because the owner didn’t approve of same-sex partnerships. That’s a memory that the bride will now have of her bridal experience, which is supposed to be special.

According to ABC News, the bride at the center of this now high-profile story is planning to enter into a civil union with her partner in New Jersey, where civil unions are recognized but not same-sex marriage. Next year, she and her partner will get married in New York, where same-sex marriage is now recognized.

Based on reports of the New Jersey wedding shop incident, the store owner used state laws as a reason to not sell the bride her dress. Because it is illegal for same-sex partners to marry in New Jersey, she didn’t feel right about supporting a same-sex wedding by selling a bride her dress.

As you can likely guess, the controversy has stirred up passionate reactions on all sides of the same-sex marriage issue. Some critics question whether the store owner had the right to refuse business based on what she calls her religious beliefs. But the owner also claims that she has gotten a boost in business from people who support her decision regarding the incident.

This story is just another example of how pertinent the issue of same-sex marriage is. The marriage laws reach into all aspects of society and life, even into what many would expect to be a lighthearted wedding shop and a bride-to-be’s joyous time.


ABC News: “N.J. Bridal Shop Refused to Sell Wedding Dress to Lesbian Bride: Owner says: ‘That’s Illegal,’” Nina Terrero, Aug. 19, 2011