Wash. florist returns to Supreme Court for right to refuse service to gays

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers is seeking an OK to refuse service to gay couples. Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

After obtaining a perfunctory decision last year in her favor, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Washington State is back before the U.S. Supreme Court with a renewed call for a First Amendment ruling allowing her to refuse service to same-sex couples seeking floral arrangements for their weddings.

In her 41-page petition for certiorari, Baronelle Stutzman alleges the Washington State Supreme Court ignored case law in favor of religious freedom when it ruled—now twice—she violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination by refusing to provide floral arrangements in 2013 for a same-sex wedding.

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Wash. high court again rules against florist who refused to serve gays

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the aftermath of being forced to reevaluate it decision following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the Washington State Supreme Court has again concluded Arlene’s Flowers violated the state’s LGBT non-discrimination law by refusing to provide floral services to a same-sex wedding.

The 76-page decision finds previous decisions in the case were reviewed correctly under the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious neutrality. Thus, the new decision reaches the same conclusion Baronelle Stutzman violated state law in 2013 by refusing to serve a same-sex couple seeking to buy wedding flowers.

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Supreme Court sends back ‘religious freedom’ case from anti-gay florist

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers is seeking an OK to refuse service to gay couples. Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced that it has sent back for review to Washington State a lawsuit filed by an anti-gay florist seeking a First Amendment right to refuse service to same-sex weddings.

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Supreme Court sidesteps major ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop case

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Supreme Court sidestepped making a major decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case pending before the court, issuing a narrow decision based on the facts of the lawsuit in favor of a Colorado baker sued for refusing a wedding cake to same-sex couple.

In the 7-2 decision written by U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court vacates the decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals against baker Jack Phillips on the basis the state commission handling his case displayed a religious bias against him.

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Washington florist seeks OK from Supreme Court to refuse service to gays

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A Washington State florist who refused to service a gay couple’s wedding for religious reasons is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse state court rulings that she violated the state’s LGBT non-discrimination law.

Barronelle Stutzman, the sole owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash., filed the petition for certiorari on Friday before the U.S. Supreme Court asserting the rulings against her violate her freedom of speech and religion.

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Washington court rules against florist who refused to serve gays

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The Washington Supreme Court has upheld the state’s civil rights law in the face of a challenge to the statute from a florist who refused to serve a same-sex couple based on religious objections.

Writing for a unanimous nine-member court of elected judges, Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud determined in a 59-page decision Barronelle Stutzman, the sole owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash., discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation in 2013 by refusing to provide floral arrangements for the wedding of a gay couple, Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed.

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Washington judge says florist who refused same-sex wedding broke law

By : Wire Report
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RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) – A florist in Washington state who refused to provide flowers to a gay couple for their wedding violated state consumer protection and anti-discrimination law, a judge ruled Feb. 18.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom rejected arguments from the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland that her actions were protected by her freedoms of speech and religion. While religious beliefs are protected by the First Amendment, actions based on those beliefs aren’t necessarily protected, he said.

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