Major Victory: State Supreme Court Rules Unanimously Against Florist Who Refused a Same-Sex Couple

 
 
 
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.

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