WA Court rules against Florist 4 not serving gays

This is total fucking bullshit. Businesses should have the right to not serve to whomever they chose. The government has NO PLACE in such decisions. Disgusting. 

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/northwest/richland-florist-discriminated-against-gay-couple-for-refusing-service-states-highest-court-rules/

Here's the judge who wrote for the majority:

 

Here's a clearer picture:

 

 

 

A Richland florist who refused to provide flowers to a gay couple for their wedding violated anti-discrimination law, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court ruled unanimously that Barronelle Stutzman discriminated against longtime customers Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed when she refused to do the flowers for their 2013 wedding because of her religious opposition to same-sex marriage. Instead, Stutzman suggested several other florists in the area who would help them.

“We’re thrilled that the Washington Supreme Court has ruled in our favor. The court affirmed that we are on the right side of the law and the right side of history,” Ingersoll and Freed said in a statement.

Stutzman and her attorneys said they would appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. They also held out hope that President Trump would issue an executive order protecting religious freedom, which was a campaign pledge.

Stutzman called the ruling “terrifying when you think the government is coming in and telling you what to think and what to do.”

In its decision, the state’s highest court rejected Stutzman’s claims that since other florists in the area were willing to provide flowers, no harm resulted from her refusal.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud said, “We emphatically reject this argument. We agree with Ingersoll and Freed that ‘this case is no more about access to flowers than civil rights cases were about access to sandwiches.’ … As every other court to address the question has concluded, public accommodations laws do not simply guarantee access to goods or services. Instead, they serve a broader societal purpose: eradicating barriers to the equal treatment of all citizens in the commercial marketplace.”

 

The court also rejected Stutzman’s claims that her floral arrangements were a form of artistic expression and so protected by the First Amendment. Citing the case of a New Mexico photographer who similarly refused to take pictures at a gay marriage, the court said, “while photography may be expressive, the operation of a photography business is not.”

In December 2012, soon after the state legalized gay marriage, Ingersoll and Freed began planning a large wedding. Stutzman, who had provided flowers to the couple numerous times over the years, refused, citing her religious belief that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman.

The couple went ahead with their wedding, but they had it at home with 11 guests and flowers from another florist, instead of the larger event they had envisioned.

The couple, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU) sued Stutzman under the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer-protection laws in what became a high-profile case that highlighted the clash between the right to be treated equally under the law and the free exercise of religion and speech.

A Benton County Superior Court judge last February ruled that Stutzman’s religious beliefs did not allow her to discriminate against the couple and that she must provide flowers for same-sex weddings, or stop doing weddings at all. Thursday’s state Supreme Court ruling upheld the lower court.

Ferguson on Thursday hailed the decision, saying, “It is a complete, unequivocal victory for equality in the state of Washington and sends a clear message around the country as well.”

Speaking with Ferguson at a news conference in Seattle, Michael Scott, the ACLU attorney for the same-sex couple, said the decision recognizes “human beings and their lives” while upholding the “core value of American law” regarding human dignity.

Scott said he would be surprised if the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case, citing a century of unbroken legal precedent. “It’s not groundbreaking law,” he said.

“If this case were about an interracial couple we wouldn’t be here today,” he added.

Scott said the fact that the state Supreme Court was unanimous carries extra weight.

“They’re sending a message that I think is loud and clear,” he said.

Ferguson, noting Stutzman’s attorneys had suffered “defeat after defeat,” said he was confident the decision would be upheld in the high court if it does hear the case.

He also said his office would closely scrutinize any executive order issued by President Trump to undermine the decision.

Lambda Legal Defense, a national group protecting gay rights, also praised the court ruling.

“Businesses must not discriminate against LGBT people and religious motivation does not change that,” said Jennifer Pizer, Lambda Legal’s director of law and policy and co-author of the group’s friend-of-the-court brief filed in the case.

 

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Stutzman, said that it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review Thursday’s ruling.

Stutzman acted consistently with her faith, an Alliance news release said, but state justices “concluded that the government can force her — and, by extension, other Washingtonians — to create artistic expression and participate in events with which they disagree.”

In November, the state Supreme Court heard arguments in the case, Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers, during a special session at Bellevue College.

Attorneys for Stutzman argued that a floral arrangement is a form of speech deserving of protection and that government cannot compel Stutzman to create an arrangement for a gay couple against her religious beliefs.

Ferguson urged the court to uphold state anti-discrimination laws and not to create an exception for religious beliefs. He noted that many people once held strong religious beliefs against interracial marriage, but the courts struck down those laws as discriminatory.

Stutzman and her attorneys argued that the Benton County Superior Court’s ruling was unlawful government coercion and that the creative expression of floral arrangement deserves the same protection as free speech.

During the November hearing, several justices expressed skepticism for that argument, asking why it wouldn’t also extend to bartenders, stationery providers or landscape artists who also bring creativity to their work.

“So anyone worried about their expression may deny services to a customer?” asked Justice Steven Gonzales.

The case attracted more than a dozen friend-of-court briefs on behalf of the gay couple, including Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a group of Washington businesses that include Amazon, Microsoft and the Metropolitan Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Amicus briefs were filed on behalf of Stutzman and Arlene’s Flowers, including one from African-American and Hispanic churches and their pastors who argued that the government should not penalize people for the belief that marriage is a union between a husband and wife.

I wonder if OP is one of the 160+ OGers who think that there should be a 2 year military service for anyone over 18 in the USA.

It's a tricky subject, but I'm ok with banning discrimination as long as you are talking about discriminating against a person for their mere existence. Such as "I will not sell you flowers because you are gay".

However, businesses should have the right to refuse to make a specific/unique product for any customer. Such as refusing to make a swastika cake or a rainbow cake covered in frosted dildos.

And I'm not that happy about "banning" discrimination, but I think there are some valid arguments for that.

I'm waiting for NC to sue Springsteen for refusing to play in the state. Or for the NCAA to get sued. Somehow it's ok for libs to conscientiously object but not Christians. 

Also, how depraved do you have to be to mar your special day by purposefully hurting this particular florist when you could go to any number of others? Even on their "day" they were nothing but political hacks 

I am a believer that a business should be free to serve whoever they want, whenever they want, for whatever reason.

We are way passed the point where these kind of laws are needed. They had other options for flowers. No way I can support a government forcing anyone to to business against their will. It has no place in free society.

What happened to "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason"?

I am pro gay marriage, I just don't care what other people do and it's not my place to tell anyone how to live if they're not hurting me or mine.

But I also strongly believe that a business owner has the right to say they won't do business with whoever they want. This isn't an equal housing or employment issue. This is fucking retail.

Z NEDCMK1 -


No, businesses shouldn't have the right to discriminate. The law agrees.

All businesses should be allowed to discriminate as they deem fit. It ultimately just bolsters their competition.

MountainMedic - What happened to "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason"?

I am pro gay marriage, I just don't care what other people do and it's not my place to tell anyone how to live if they're not hurting me or mine.

But I also strongly believe that a business owner has the right to say they won't do business with whoever they want. This isn't an equal housing or employment issue. This is fucking retail.

Yep... there were several alternative options. The wedding didn't hinge on fucking flowers. Ridiculous.

Pretty weird stance considering how many gay guys are in the floral business.

GenericAmerican - It's a tricky subject, but I'm ok with banning discrimination as long as you are talking about discriminating against a person for their mere existence. Such as "I will not sell you flowers because you are gay".

However, businesses should have the right to refuse to make a specific/unique product for any customer. Such as refusing to make a swastika cake or a rainbow cake covered in frosted dildos.

Pretty much this. I'm against catering to the far left but I agree with the judgment above.

Chick fil a has it right. They're clear on the owner's stance but they don't discriminate in serving or hiring gays.

If the Left wants CFA to make dick shaped nuggets then they'd have the right to refuse.

MountainMedic - What happened to "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason"?

I am pro gay marriage, I just don't care what other people do and it's not my place to tell anyone how to live if they're not hurting me or mine.

But I also strongly believe that a business owner has the right to say they won't do business with whoever they want. This isn't an equal housing or employment issue. This is fucking retail.

I agree

Liberals who support this law.


Do you feel like a Muslim Mosque should be forced to host a gay marriage ceremony?

Thacommish - 

in for a bunch of pages of people saying under their breath how they like gays but then go on to explain how they accept forms of discrimination

 

but really lol


I think the government should treat everyone exactly the same, gay straight or otherwise.

I think a private business should be able to do as they like.

If you dont understand the difference between two you have some problems.

If a bunch of Neo Nazi christians come into a gay hair salon for frosted tips should the gay person be FORCED to serve them?

In a free society this kind of discrimination should not be allowed. It's a slippery slope. You could have an entire town in the Bible belt refuse service to guys. In a free country, where being gay is legal, this should not be a possibility. You don't have to let them into your home but if you chose to open a business in the USA prepare to be required to serve all its citizens. Otherwise move to some other country that doesn't allow gay relationships and open your flower shop there.

Thacommish - 
Brockback Mountain - Liberals who support this law.


Do you feel like a Muslim Mosque should be forced to host a gay marriage ceremony?

No churches are forced to hold wedding ceremonies, also nowhere in any religion does it explicitly forbid providing flowers to a gay couple.

 

So.... take your shitty examples out of here lol


Lol Double standand.


So lets change it. If a muslim catering service did not want to cater a gay wedding, should we force them to?

Thacommish - 

Also to your muslim examples and lets look at it real close and start imagining if muslims started coming here en masse. Taking over certain areas. Should we allow them to close these areas off and run rampant with their own discrimination?

 

Hell no. Youd be the first one up there like THIS IS AMERICA blah blah blah.


You cant "close off an area" of town or something. Streets and sidewalks are open to all.

Your private business you can do as you like. Ban Black people, ban women whatever.

And the we all have the right to boycott or not support that business.

Thacommish - 
Brockback Mountain -
Thacommish - 

in for a bunch of pages of people saying under their breath how they like gays but then go on to explain how they accept forms of discrimination

 

but really lol


I think the government should treat everyone exactly the same, gay straight or otherwise.

I think a private business should be able to do as they like.

If you dont understand the difference between two you have some problems.

If a bunch of Neo Nazi christians come into a gay hair salon for frosted tips should the gay person be FORCED to serve them?

Good thing you dont make those decisions, because wed live in a shittier country because of it

 

thank god people smarter then you made the decision for you


"wed"


You completely avoided the question.


If the Westboro baptist church wants get their haircuts done at a gay owned salaon, should the people who work there be forced to give haircuts?