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Washington State AG sues florist for refusing to provide flowers to gay wedding

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Florist refuses to follow state anti-discrimination law

 

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Tuesday filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers & Gifts, a Richland florist that refused to supply flowers to the same-sex marriage of a longtime customer. Ferguson said he sent a March 28 letter to owner Barronelle Stutzman asking her to reconsider and supply flowers to customer Robert Ingersoll. Through an attorney, Stutzman declined to change her position.

 

Attorney General Bob Ferguson: He's suing a Richland florist who refused to supply flowers for a same-sex marriage. "As Attorney General, it is my job to enforce the laws of the state of Washington,” said Ferguson. “Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation. If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same sex couples the same product or service.”

 

Prohibited discrimination is so uncool.

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"In a phone interview with The Daily Signal, Barronelle Stutzman said the decision—and its accompanying fines—will put her flower shop out of business, or worse.

 

After the fines and legal fees, “There won’t be anything left,” Stutzman said.

 

“They want my home, they want my business, they want my personal finances as an example for other people to be quiet.”"

 


 

Lyberal tolerance for diversity is a one-way street. And it's covered in manure.

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Don't want to be fined?  Don't break the law and discriminate.

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Florist refuses to follow state anti-discrimination law

 

 

 

Prohibited discrimination is so uncool.

I doubt it will be challenged, but I wonder about the constitutionality.

 

As a businessman, all I see is green. I don't care if you're a man, woman, black, white, or have sex with goats. Just bring the green.

 

On the other hand, if your principles force you in denying yourself business opportunities based on certain characteristics I think the ultimate loser is that businessman.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/02/20/washington-florist-rejects-settlement-offer-after-court-rules-she-cant-refuse-service-to-gay-weddings/

 

A florist rejected a settlement offer from Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Friday, days after a state judge ruled that her “relationship with Jesus” was not enough to justify her refusal to provide flower arrangements for the wedding of a same-sex couple.

 

The Wednesday ruling determined that the “religiously-motivated conduct” of Barronelle Stutzman, the Southern Baptist owner of Arlene’s flowers, was in “direct and insoluble conflict” with the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws.

 

On Friday, Stutzman told Ferguson in a letter released through her attorneys that the state’s settlement offer of a $2,000 penalty, a $1 payment for court and legal fees, and an agreement “not to discriminate in the future,” was akin to Judas’s betrayal of Jesus in the Bible. “You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver,” she wrote, adding, “that is something I will not do.”

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It sounds more like a protest against a specific event rather than discrimination against a certain person or persons.

Edited by mdrunning

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 http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-fines-washington-florist-sex-wedding-flowers-29964374

A Washington state florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding was fined $1,000 Friday, plus $1 for court costs and fees.  Benton County Superior Judge Alexander Ekstrom's ruling gives Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Washington, 60 days to pay the state for her refusal to serve Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed when they sought to buy wedding flowers in 2013.

Stutzman, who had sold flowers to Ingersoll for years, knew he was gay and said when he sought to buy wedding flowers that the marriage went against her beliefs as a Southern Baptist. After they were refused flowers, Ingersoll and Freed went ahead with a smaller wedding than they had planned. They got married in their home with 11 guests and flowers from another florist.

 

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It must be a thrill to have the force of law make someone take business from someone else.

 

So... what was the actual harm to the plaintiffs? They had to call another florist?

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It must be a thrill to have the force of law make someone take business from someone else.

 

So... what was the actual harm to the plaintiffs? They had to call another florist?

So you're cool with illegal discrimination?  If a black couple gets turned away, they can just go to another florist?

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So you're cool with illegal discrimination?  If a black couple gets turned away, they can just go to another florist?

Why yes, they can. There's only one florist in all of America?

 

Why would I spend my money at a business where it wasn't appreciated?

 

I'm not saying it's the right thing to do. I'm saying people should have the right to be azzholes. The consequence for being an azzhole is not making a sale, and it could be as much as not making a bunch of sales when word gets out that you're an azzhole.

Edited by douger

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Just a question: when ordering flowers for a wedding, does the florist asks if it's a same or opposite sex wedding? My experience is you pick your colors, type and number of arrangements, price range and tell them where/when and hand them a credit card. Never felt the need to discuss anything more personal and frankly don't think they gave a rip.

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So you're cool with illegal discrimination?  If a black couple gets turned away, they can just go to another florist?

I dont think a private business should be forced to do business w/ anyone for any reason. If an asian in a blue shirt cuts me off in traffic, I should be able to not serve asians wearing blue shirts all week if I want. They can spend their money with my competition, my loss.

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Just a question: when ordering flowers for a wedding, does the florist asks if it's a same or opposite sex wedding? My experience is you pick your colors, type and number of arrangements, price range and tell them where/when and hand them a credit card. Never felt the need to discuss anything more personal and frankly don't think they gave a rip.

I guess telling the florist that the groom's name is Neal and the bride's name is Bob might be the giveaway.

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I dont think a private business should be forced to do business w/ anyone for any reason. If an asian in a blue shirt cuts me off in traffic, I should be able to not serve asians wearing blue shirts all week if I want. They can spend their money with my competition, my loss.

But the law says differently.

 

I agree with the law but were I gay, or an Asian blue shirt wearing fella in your case,frankly wouldn't care to give my business to people who hold such benighted attitudes. Life's too short.

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But the law says differently.

 

I agree with the law but were I gay, or an Asian blue shirt wearing fella in your case,frankly wouldn't care to give my business to people who hold such benighted attitudes. Life's too short.

But there's no "gay agenda."

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I guess telling the florist that the groom's name is Neal and the bride's name is Bob might be the giveaway.

Think the only name they asked for in my experience was the one on my Amex card!! Though asking for 2 boutiniers or 2 bridal bouquets might give it away!

 

Oy.

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But there's no "gay agenda."

Well it may be a "walk a mile in my shoes" thing? Maybe after waiting so long for gay marriage to be legal, I might be a tad touchy myself. Who knows. Flowers and cake, the last frontier.

Edited by ms maggie

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I dont think a private business should be forced to do business w/ anyone for any reason. If an asian in a blue shirt cuts me off in traffic, I should be able to not serve asians wearing blue shirts all week if I want. They can spend their money with my competition, my loss.

 

You could refuse to serve people wearing blue shirts. 

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But the law says differently.

 

I agree with the law but were I gay, or an Asian blue shirt wearing fella in your case,frankly wouldn't care to give my business to people who hold such benighted attitudes. Life's too short.

If only others were as enlightened as you.. but no they gotta go making laws against people's freedoms and calling lawyers.. If somebody didnt want my business, I'll spend my money elsewhere.

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Heck, I feel like opening a gay only bakery JUST to bug oft-offended Dougie poo.

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You could refuse to serve people wearing blue shirts. 

They'll form a lobby and demand protected status too.

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http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/crime/article133086579.html

 

The Christian owner of a Richland floral shop violated state laws when she refused to make custom arrangements for a longtime customer’s same-sex wedding, an appellate court ruled Thursday. The unanimous decision by the Washington state Supreme Court affirms a Benton County judge’s ruling in the 2013 case.

 

Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, had asked the state's highest court to review Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom’s 2015 order. Ekstrom had sided with Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the couple, Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. They sued Stutzman citing the state’s anti-discrimination law and the Consumer Protection Act.

 

Unanimous.

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To the extent that all the florist would have had to do was arrange flowers and have them delivered to the wedding venue then I agree she should have complied, as that would not be placing her in the position of "participating" in a same sex wedding. The more difficult issues arise when it involves a photgrapher, or a DJ, or a band. Those folks would need to actually participate in the wedding and/or reception following, and in such an instance the courts would be telling a person that must actually physically take part in an event that goes against their religious beliefs becasue of their profession. I would hope that the courts would uphold their right to say no. 

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To the extent that all the florist would have had to do was arrange flowers and have them delivered to the wedding venue then I agree she should have complied, as that would not be placing her in the position of "participating" in a same sex wedding. The more difficult issues arise when it involves a photgrapher, or a DJ, or a band. Those folks would need to actually participate in the wedding and/or reception following, and in such an instance the courts would be telling a person that must actually physically take part in an event that goes against their religious beliefs becasue of their profession. I would hope that the courts would uphold their right to say no. 

I see your point although I feel they are offering a service and can't descriminate but I recognize that is different than a florist or baker.

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