The Washington State Supreme Court has just handed down a unanimous ruling against Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s flowers, who refused to make arrangements for a longtime customer because he was marrying a man.
The ruling upholds a lower court’s decision that found Stutzman’s case was not decided with animus toward her religious beliefs – an argument that did win in the case Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips at the U.S. Supreme Court. There is no suggestion the two cases are similar.
KOMO and the AP report the State Supreme Court Thursday ruling means that “Stutzman’s refusal to provide flowers to the same-sex couple constituted discrimination against sexual orientation.”
Stutzman over several years has been offered multiple opportunities to settle her case by state and local prosecutors, but repeatedly refused. One offer was for $1000. At the same time, her attorneys have falsely claimed that by refusing the same-sex couple the elderly florist may lose her business, her home, and her savings. It’s a false claim that’s been repeated by many on the right.
The State at one point tried to settle with Stutzman for $2000 but she refused, and with her activist Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, went to trial. A Washington judge found Stutzman violated the Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination, and fined her $1000, $1 in legal costs, and enjoined her from further acts of discrimination.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBT hate group that has carved out a niche defending Christians claiming their religious beliefs entitle them to discriminate against same-sex couples, says it will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a statement they refer to Stutzman as a “floral artist.”
Last year the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Stutzman’s case, but did not rule out reviewing it in the future.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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Florida Republicans Advance Bill Banning Discussion of LGBTQ People in School Under Guise of ‘Parental Rights’
Under the guise of “parental rights” and “student welfare” a Florida House committee has advanced legislation that would ban primary school discussion of LGBTQ people or topics, could require school officials to notify a parent if a student comes out as LGBTQ, bans schools from withholding that information from parents in many cases, and allows parents to sue if schools violate those policies.
Florida House Bill 1557, “Parental Rights in Education,” was advanced out of the Education and Employment Committee, The Tampa Bay Times reports. Its author, Rep. Joe Harding, the founder of a local lawn care company, was described by a local paper when he won his 2020 race as as “a supporter of anti-abortion legislation and the Second Amendment.”
The bill in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
Jon Harris Maurer, Equality Florida’s Public Policy Director, spoke out against the legislation Thursday:
Today, lawmakers moved forward a bill to ban discussion of LGBTQ people in schools. Our own Jon Harris Maurer had a powerful reply:
“We’re parents, students, & teachers. We are your brothers & sisters. Conversations about us aren’t something dangerous that should be banned.” ❤️ pic.twitter.com/4vxM5dAxgV
— Equality Florida (@equalityfl) January 20, 2022
The bill must pass through one additional committee before being voted on by the full House.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), who is running for governor, weighed in:
HB 1557 & SB 1834 would ban all discussion of LGBTQ issues, history, people and more in the classroom.
It's a direct attack on our LGBTQ+ youth who already face higher risks of bullying and suicide. These bills are anti-history and go against creating safe learning environments.
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) January 21, 2022
A call to Rep. Harding’s office was not returned.
Boston is One Step Closer to Executing a ‘Straight Pride’
Beantown is one step closer to welcoming a “Straight Pride” to its masses after City officials approved the organizers’ public event application Thursday. The next step is the permitting process involving police district captains and the licensing board. An entertainment license is also being anticipated.
The Straight Pride Parade is being organized by Super Happy Fun America. John Hugo, the group’s organizer, told CNN the event is “not anti-gay but pro-straight.”
“We are disappointed that celebrities and politicians including Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Evans, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Eric Swalwell have chosen to use their power and privilege to fan the flames of intolerance by disparaging our young civil rights movement,” the website stated. “However, we are encouraged by all the support we have received from around the world. The parade is a festive occasion that will be used as a platform to educate the public on the unique problems facing our community and to fight against heterophobia”
Evans, who stars as Marvel’s Captain America, blasted the group of men planning to hold a “Straight Pride” parade in his hometown of Boston as “homophobic” on Wednesday.
Wow, the number gay/straight pride parade false equivalencies are disappointing. For those who don’t understand the difference, see below. Instead of going immediately to anger(which is actually just fear of what you don’t understand)take a moment to search for empathy and growth https://t.co/e98K0Z150T
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) June 5, 2019
The event date is slated for August 31 from noon to 3 p.m., according to the application. It would start on Boylston and Clarendon Streets and proceed along Boylston to Tremont.
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