Skip to comments.Florist faces second lawsuit over gay wedding refusal
Posted on 04/23/2013 2:52:31 AM PDT by markomalley
A florist in Washington is being sued for a second time after choosing not to provide flower arrangements for a gay customer's upcoming wedding.
Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene's Flowers in Richland now faces two lawsuits, one from the Washington state Attorney General and another from the American Civil Liberties Union, for turning away business for a same-sex couples wedding.
When frequent customer Curt Freed approached Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene's Flowers last month to provide arrangements for his September wedding ceremony to Rob Ingersoll, the florist said she could not provide services due to her religious beliefs.
On the company's Facebook page, Stutzman described the incident after many receiving comments, saying she explained her position to the customer who said he respected her opinion.
She said that because of my relationship with Jesus Christ, she could not comply with his request to do floral arrangements for his wedding. It is her deeply-held conviction that marriage is between a man and a woman, she wrote in the post.
Stutzman recalled that the two hugged and Freed left the store.
It was not until after the couple relayed the story to their friends who were livid with the florists decision and posted about it on Facebook, according to a Seattle Times story, that they began to receive attention from the local media, and eventually the state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
After he learned of the incident Ferguson sent a letter to Stutzman requesting she reconsider her position and sign an agreement indicating her intention to comply with Washington laws.
When Stutzmans attorneys responded saying that she would challenge any action to enforce the states anti-discrimination law, the Attorney General filed a consumer protection lawsuit against the florist who has been serving the area for the past 37 years.
In it, the state seeks a fine of $2,000 and has issued a court-order requiring Stutzman to comply with state law.
Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation, Ferguson said in a statement on April 9.
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.
Now Stutzman faces a second lawsuit as the American Civil Liberty Union filed one April 18 on behalf of Freed and Ingersoll.
When a business serves the general public, the business owners religious beliefs may not be used to justify discrimination, ACLU of Washington legal director Sarah Dunne said in a statement.
The ACLU lawsuit seeks a court order barring the florist from discriminating against customers on the basis of sexual orientation as well as damages for the violation of the couples rights.
Attorney Justin Bristol, who is representing the florist, argues that these cases are violating his clients constitutional rights to freedom of speech, expression and religion.
Although Stutzman holds religious beliefs that do not validate same-sex marriage, enforcement of this law would force her to express assent for the issue.
Can the state require a painter to paint a portrait of a gay couple? Could the state require a musician to write a song? Bristol asked, according to the Associated Press. Can the government compel them to say something they don't want to say? It violates the First Amendment.
It's not a public accommodation case, he said. She simply doesn't believe in gay marriage. She believes marriage should be between a man and a woman.
“...could she refuse to make a cake for an 8th grade orgy party?”
It depends on what judges, pols, or 51% of the voting public think about 8th grade orgy parties at any one time.
She said that because of my relationship with Jesus Christ, she could not comply with his request to do floral arrangements for his wedding.
THAT was her mistake! What she SHOULD HAVE said was:
Because of my relationship with the prophet Mohammed,.........
This is all about entitlement and forcing people to “do what’s right” against their own judgement.
It started with forcing businesses to fill quotas and to not refuse services based on gender, race, religion etc with the 60’s civil rights movement. Now we have “same sex discrimination”—demanding “civil rights” and if we refuse they get outraged. When we opened this door, we can’t shut it back and say, well it was okay for these people, but it isn’t okay for these people.
We have a whole generation of people who feel special and “entitled” and if they feel the least bit slighted, they can take legal action.
How about the checkout girl wearing a hijab who asks customers to move their own bacon off the conveyor belt and bag it themselves because she won’t touch even packaged bacon?
Should she be fired because she refuses to do her job properly or will she insist that we’re being biased against her religion?
We need the freedom to refuse without penalty. Let us have the simple freedom to say “if you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else”.
As I recall, the Denny's case concerned several busloads from a black church on a long trip that pulled into a Denny's at peak time on a busy weekend. The plaintiffs decided it was a sign of bigotry that it took forever to get service, it being a meaningless technicality that 500 or so other customers in buses had gotten there ahead of them. What normal people do if they don't want to wait in line is go to the next rest stop, which is the option the manager suggested at the time.
The rule of thumb is that 99 percent of all "discrimination" incidents are planned long in advance by the plaintiffs' lawyers to create the ideal confrontation and the most sincere-sounding surprise and outragethe Montgomery Bus Boycott being a textbook example, where M.L. King and Rosa Parks were chosen and trained for the event months in advance.
Certainly by the 1980s, it's been a safe assumption that all civil rights cases brought by "protected class" plaintiffs are fictitious.
Just make the floral arrangements the worst ever, dead flowers, horrible arrangements, and charge them a dollar for it.
The point is to have the State force you to renounce Christ.
Does the ACLU mean to imply that you may not discriminate against polygamists, pedophiles, and bestiality-ists (sp?), as those, too, are "orientations of (a type of) "sexuality"? And may soon be removed from the nut, I mean, psychiatric list of mental illnesses, if the nuts running the asylum have their way.
Middle School Girls Forced to Ask for “Lesbian Kiss”