Washington State Supreme Court Upholds Ruling Against Anti-LGBTQ Florist

The Washington State Supreme Court has upheld its 2017 ruling which found florist Barronelle Stutzman had violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws when she refused to sell wedding flowers to a gay couple in 2013.
Homophobic florist Barronelle Stutzman

The Washington State Supreme Court has upheld its 2017 ruling which found florist Barronelle Stutzman had violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws when she refused to sell wedding flowers to a gay couple in 2013.

Stutzman’s legal team had appealed the original ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, but last June the high court punted.

Instead of reviewing the case, SCOTUS vacated the Washington state Supreme Court ruling and ordered the state’s top court to take another look at the caseto ensure they did not rule with any religious bias.

On Wednesday, the state Supreme Court upheld its original ruling in a unanimous decision,

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued a statement which read, “Washington state law protects same-sex couples from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, the same way it protects Washingtonians from discrimination based on their religion, veteran or military status, disability, race and other protected classes.”

The case began when Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed were planning to marry in 2013 after Washington state legalized same-sex marriage the year before.

They approached Stutzman for flowers for their event, Stutzman refused citing her Christian beliefs.

Washington state’s public accommodation laws specifically prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Stutzman was fined $1,000 and ordered to sell floral arrangements for same-sex weddings if she were to continue selling arrangements for heterosexual weddings.

Although she cried about financial burdens due to the ongoing court case, it’s worth noting that over $174,000 was raised via crowd funding for Stutzman. GoFundMe eventually shut down the campaign based on the company’s policy that campaigns can’t be used to raise funds for legal cases where formal charges have been filed.

However, Stutzman was allowed to keep the $174,000.

Following Wednesday’s ruling, Stutzman’s attorneys (from the virulently anti-LGBTQ law firm Alliance Defending Freedom) say they plan to take their appeal (again) to the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Source: KEPR)

Anti-Gay Florist Takes Martyr Lap At Religious Broadcasters Convention

Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman

Taking her martyr lap from one right wing audience to the next, anti-gay Washington state florist (who was found to have violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws) appeared today at the National Religious Broadcasters convention.

Barronelle Stutzman faces fines of up to $2,000 for refusing to serve gay customers seeking flowers for their wedding. She is now the face of martyrdom for the anti-LGBT folks in America.

Stutzman says “I can’t leave my relationship at the door of the Church. Christ is my life.” But, it seems she only refuses to sell flowers to gay folks.

A flower shop is not a church; a florist isn’t a pastor; and customers of a business are not required to conform to the owner’s religious beliefs.

Washington: Florist Declines Offer To Settle LGBT Discrimination Lawsuit

Barronelle Stutzman, the Washington state florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding, has declined to accept an offer from the Washington state attorney general to settle her discrimination case by paying a $2,000 fine and agreeing to sell bouquets for same-sex ceremonies in the future.

In a letter to the Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Stutzman wrote that gay couples are allowed to act on their views, but “because I follow the Bible’s teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, I am no longer free to act on my beliefs.”

From the Washington Post:

Stutzman, 70, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, says she plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that she broke a state anti-discrimination law.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom on Wednesday rejected arguments that Stutzman’s actions were protected by her freedoms of speech and religion.

The First Amendment protects religious beliefs but not necessarily actions based on those beliefs, Ekstrom ruled. The state has the authority to prohibit discrimination, and Stutzman can be held personally liable for damages if she breaks bias laws, the judge said.

A gay couple and the state sued the florist, who could be required to pay damages and legal fees that far exceed the attorney general’s offer.

Ferguson said Thursday that his goal wasn’t Stutzman’s financial ruin. He offered to settle the case for $2,000 — the fine for violations of the law — and a $1 payment for legal fees if she would agree not to discriminate against same-sex couples.

“My primary goal has always been to bring about an end to the defendants’ unlawful conduct and to make clear that I will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” Ferguson said in a news release.

Stutzman becomes a national martyr in 3, 2, 1…