LOCAL NEWS

Richland florist who wouldn’t serve gay wedding looks to head back to Supreme Court

Sep 11, 2019, 11:51 AM
Arlene's Flowers, flowers, florist, Supreme Court...
The Arlene's Flowers saga continues. (File, Associated Press)
(File, Associated Press)

After the Washington State Supreme Court upheld its decision against a Richland florist in June, the case could end up heading to the U.S. Supreme Court for a second time.

SCOWA upholds ruling against florist who wouldn’t serve gay wedding

The saga of the case against Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington has been a lengthy one to say the least.

Back in 2017, the state Supreme Court ruled against the Richland florist, who had refused to sell flowers for gay couple’s wedding. That case was then appealed to the U.S. Supreme court, which — in light of a similar case against a Colorado baker — kicked it back to the state level earlier this year for what many thought would be a final ruling. That ruling was issued almost verbatim from the one in 2017 — the court stood by what it said the first time.

“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,” State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said at the time of the ruling in June. “I will continue to uphold these laws and fight to protect Washingtonians from discrimination.”

Now, Arlene’s Flowers is once again asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider its case, in light of the Colorado bakery that actually won its case before that same court in 2018, when it ruled that it had the right to refuse service to a gay couple.

Will Colorado decision affect Washington’s gay wedding case?

“These First Amendment violations must stop,” a petition filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom Wednesday states. “Absent this Court’s review, government officials will keep dragging reasonable and sincere people of faith … through the courts, imposing ruinous judgments, and barring them from their professions simply because they hold disfavored views about marriage. Religious people should be free to live out their beliefs about marriage. But states like Washington afford that freedom only to people who support same-sex marriage, while stripping it from Barronelle and others like her.”

The ADF works as a Christian conservative non-profit, providing legal representation in cases where it feels as though religious rights have been violated.

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Richland florist who wouldn’t serve gay wedding looks to head back to Supreme Court