Florist can’t refuse to provide flowers for same-sex marriage, state Supreme Court rules again

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LGBTQ legal issues

Florist can’t refuse to provide flowers for same-sex marriage, state Supreme Court rules again

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The Washington Supreme Court has again ruled against a Christian florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding on the grounds that it would violate their religion.

Unanimously on Thursday opinion, the court reaffirmed its 2017 ruling, ruling that state courts had not acted with “religious animosity” when they ruled that Barronelle Stutzman and his company Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash., had broken the law state anti-discrimination.

The Seattle weather, the Washington Times, the Associated press, Reuters and CNN have a blanket.

Stutzman had appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court, which referred it to the Washington Supreme Court to determine whether she had been treated with religious neutrality, as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

“We are confident that the courts have resolved this dispute with tolerance,” Judge Sheryl Gordon McCloud wrote in the opinion. “Washington State prohibits discrimination in public places on the basis of sexual orientation. Discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Stutzman is represented by the Defending Freedom Alliance, a national Christian nonprofit organization, according to the Seattle Times. The group told the publication that the florist will again appeal her case to the United States Supreme Court.

“Barronelle serves all customers; she simply refuses to celebrate or participate in sacred events that violate her deeply held beliefs, ”John Bursch, vice president of appeal advocacy for the group, told the Seattle Times. “Despite this, Washington state has been openly hostile to Barronelle’s religious beliefs about marriage, and now the Washington Supreme Court has given the state a pass.”

Stutzman had argued that being forced to sell wedding flower arrangements to the couple Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed amounted to “forced speech” because it also forced her to approve same-sex marriage.

The Washington Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that selling flowers was behavior and not speech. As a result, it is not protected by the First Amendment.

“The decision to provide or refuse to provide flowers for a wedding does not in itself express a message about that wedding,” the court said. “Giving flowers for a marriage between Muslims would not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Islam, and giving flowers to an atheist couple would not endorse atheism. “

Last year, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in favor of Jack Phillips, a Christian baker from Lakewood, Colorado, who had refused to create a cake for a same-sex marriage.

The 7-2 majority in that case ruled that comments made by a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission during his investigation into the baker’s actions displayed anti-religious bias.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Alliance Defending Freedom Gains Influence With Supreme Court Victories”

ABAJournal.com: “The Supreme Court asks the court to reconsider the case of a florist who refused flowers for a gay marriage”

ABAJournal.com: “The Supreme Court cites the hostility of the agency in its decision in favor of a Christian baker”

ABAJournal.com: “Masterpiece Cakeshop baker refuses to make cake celebrating gender transition, spurring new costume”

ABAJournal.com: “Speech, religion and prejudice are all weighed in the Masterpiece Cakeshop affair”


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