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Florist sued again for refusing to provide flowers for gay wedding

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#1
The Joker

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Florist sued again for refusing to provide flowers for gay wedding



The ACLU has filed a discrimination lawsuit against a florist in Washington State who says she would not sell flowers for a gay couple's wedding because of her religious beliefs. The state is already prosecuting her under a consumer protection law.
By Allison Terry, Correspondent


A Washington florist is being sued by both the American Civil Liberties Union and the state attorney general for refusing to provide service to a gay couple planning their wedding, a legal tangle that has pitted antidiscrimination policy against religious freedom.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington filed a lawsuit Thursday, claiming that Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Wash., discriminated against Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, who are longtime patrons of the shop. Last week, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Ms. Stutzman, the first discrimination case based on sexual orientation brought by the Attorney General's Office, reports the Seattle Times.

In court documents, Stutzman said she would not sell flowers for a same-sex wedding because of her religious beliefs,

“The refusal to sell flowers to the couple is a disturbing reminder of the unequal treatment that gay men and women have experienced over the years,” said Sarah Dunne, ACLU of Washington legal director, in a statement. “When a business serves the general public, the business owner’s religious beliefs may not be used to justify discrimination.”

Washington law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, which applies to businesses selling goods and providing services, the ACLU statement said.

“Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation,” Mr. 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.”

Ferguson sent a letter to Stutzman in March asking her to reconsider her decision, but her attorney said she would challenge the state action and ACLU lawsuit, Reuters reported.

Attorney Justin Bristol, who is representing Stutzman, told Reuters that his client expects a long legal fight, but she believes the cases violate her First Amendment rights.

"She is one of the few people left today willing to stand by her convictions rather than compromise her beliefs," Mr. Bristol said. "She's a very nice lady and doesn't have a discriminatory bone in her body, but she doesn't want to be forced to participate in an event that she doesn't believe in."

He told the Seattle Times, “I one hundred percent believe this is a freedom-of-expression and free-exercise-of-religion issue. What the government is saying here is that you don’t have the right to free religious exercise.”

The Seattle Times also reported that the case is reigniting the gay marriage debate in the state where 54 percent of residents voted to legalize gay marriage in November. Washington is one of nine states, along with the District of Columbia, that have legalized gay marriage.

Conflicts like this have been rare since same-sex unions have become legal in other areas of the US during the past decade, Equal Rights Washington spokesman Josh Friedes told the Seattle Times.

In Washington, “there have been thousands of weddings ... and this is one of very few negative stories we’ve heard,” he said.

Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Freed told the Associated Press that they plan to get married in September. They were customers of Stutzman's shop for years, but only when they told her of their wedding plans did she refuse to sell them flowers.


"The florist discriminated against us as a result of our sexual orientation. Because we're a gay couple, she chose not to serve us. We feel like that's something she should not be allowed to do," Freed said.

They said they, too, are prepared for a long legal battle. The ACLU lawsuit seeks damages for Ingersoll and Freed, as well as a court order barring Stutzman from discriminating against customers. The state seeks $2,000 in penalties from the business and a permanent injunction, which would require Stutzman to comply with state laws.

http://www.csmonitor...for-gay-wedding
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#2
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View PostNeo, on 20 April 2013 - 07:58 PM, said:


"The florist discriminated against us as a result of our sexual orientation. Because we're a gay couple, she chose not to serve us. We feel like that's something she should not be allowed to do," Freed said.


Yeah, people should be forced to act against their will. So much for freedom. This is why I can't support gay people. It has nothing to do with two dudes butt Posted Imageing. The reasonable thing to do would be to say good riddance and then take your money elsewhere. But no, somebody has to pay for not agreeing with you.

I guarantee you, this gay couple sought out this particular store because they knew there was a chance for them to be refused service just so they could throw a fit and sue them.

View Postbmccall, on 17 July 2012 - 06:30 PM, said:

Our phenominal fan base and support is our tradition. Unfortunately winning isnt.

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#3
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If someone is dumb enough to say that they won't do something for a reason like that, they get what they get.
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#4
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View PostNextYearIsHere, on 20 April 2013 - 10:40 PM, said:

If someone is dumb enough to say that they won't do something for a reason like that, they get what they get.
1st amendment protection? No. Because assumed "rights" are more important than actual constitutional ones.

American civil libertys union suing to abridge some ones civil liberty. The good rev Wright said it best. Americas chickens have come home to roost.

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View PostDawgy_Style, on 20 April 2013 - 09:21 PM, said:

Yeah, people should be forced to act against their will. So much for freedom. This is why I can't support gay people. It has nothing to do with two dudes butt :lanekiffin:ing. The reasonable thing to do would be to say good riddance and then take your money elsewhere. But no, somebody has to pay for not agreeing with you.

I guarantee you, this gay couple sought out this particular store because they knew there was a chance for them to be refused service just so they could throw a fit and sue them.

"Yeah, people should be forced to act against their will."

Wow.... so the government shouldn't force people to act against their will?  Interesting.  


"The reasonable thing to do would be to say good riddance and then take your money elsewhere."

So I assume you are also against anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit businesses from discriminating based on race?

Edited by UF_alum, 23 April 2013 - 06:00 AM.


#6
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View PostUF_alum, on 23 April 2013 - 05:41 AM, said:

"Yeah, people should be forced to act against their will."

Wow.... so the government shouldn't force people to act against their will?  Interesting.  


"The reasonable thing to do would be to say good riddance and then take your money elsewhere."

So I assume you are also against anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit businesses from discriminating based on race?

Are you going with gay is a race? Or that religious freedom isnt a right?

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#7
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View PostUF_alum, on 23 April 2013 - 05:41 AM, said:

"Yeah, people should be forced to act against their will."

Wow.... so the government shouldn't force people to act against their will?  Interesting.  


"The reasonable thing to do would be to say good riddance and then take your money elsewhere."

So I assume you are also against anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit businesses from discriminating based on race?

If someone wishes to turn down money for something like that, it should be their choice.

The core objective of running a business is making a profit. Turning away customers will hurt them more than the person turned away. If pure capitalism is so greedy, I doubt many businesses will turn away customers.

When the government says, "These people want you to work for them, so you can either do it or we're going to take your money and give it to them to punish you" That is slavery.

View Postbmccall, on 17 July 2012 - 06:30 PM, said:

Our phenominal fan base and support is our tradition. Unfortunately winning isnt.

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I rape and pillage your village, women and children - Jay Z, Obama's BFF

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#8
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If a barber doesnt carry hair products for or know how to properly cut african american hair would he be open to a lawsuit?

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#9
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You are free to be an ignorant bigot, but again, when you openly say to someone that you don't want their business because you don't like (insert stupid reason here) you shouldn't be surprised when they sue you.

Now they probably won't win not should they, but this is akin to being upset when you get punched by someone you just insulted. Do they have a right to hit you? No, but if you didn't insult or judge them first and just walked away, you wouldn't have gotten decked.
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smokeyone

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They refused the job on the grounds in violates their religious beliefs. Not because of some random insert reason here bs. They were exercising their first amendment rights and in no way was the gay harmed. In the real grown up world the gay couple would spend their money with a shop that wants their business and encourages others to avoid using the other shop forcing the florist to either lose a lot of money or change policy or fold up shop. But sadly the left isnt known for acting like adults and instead with waste everyones time and money on a frivolous lawsuit like a spoiled child demanding candy at the checkout line.

View PostNextYearIsHere, on 23 April 2013 - 09:33 AM, said:

You are free to be an ignorant bigot, but again, when you openly say to someone that you don't want their business because you don't like (insert stupid reason here) you shouldn't be surprised when they sue you.

Now they probably won't win not should they, but this is akin to being upset when you get punched by someone you just insulted. Do they have a right to hit you? No, but if you didn't insult or judge them first and just walked away, you wouldn't have gotten decked.

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View Postsmokeyone, on 23 April 2013 - 11:45 AM, said:

They refused the job on the grounds in violates their religious beliefs. Not because of some random insert reason here bs. They were exercising their first amendment rights and in no way was the gay harmed. In the real grown up world the gay couple would spend their money with a shop that wants their business and encourages others to avoid using the other shop forcing the florist to either lose a lot of money or change policy or fold up shop. But sadly the left isnt known for acting like adults and instead with waste everyones time and money on a frivolous lawsuit like a spoiled child demanding candy at the checkout line.

Whose is acting like a child here... You're whining about their right to discriminate and I'm agreeing with you, I'm just saying if you just cant help tell others why you're discriminate against them, don't be surprised if they are going to dragged into court.

Don't start judging people and expect them not to fight back against it
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#12
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I would hope you would get the difference between I refuse your business because you dont like my college team and because it would violate my religious believes. I would expect people to honor and respect constitutionally protected rights but between the 1st and 2nd amendments being attacked by the same side on a daily basis maybe I need to stop giving people that benefit of the doubt.

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View Postsmokeyone, on 23 April 2013 - 06:12 AM, said:

Are you going with gay is a race? Or that religious freedom isnt a right?

Do you not know how to make a logical consistent argument, or do you pretend to be this ignorant?

#14
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View PostUF_alum, on 23 April 2013 - 04:31 PM, said:

Do you not know how to make a logical consistent argument, or do you pretend to be this ignorant?

Read the last line in your post I quoted. The only way it works is if you are going to pursue gay is another race or the the 1st line of the 1st amendment in the bill of rights is trumped by a state anti discrimination law. Otherwise it is just a throw away line. So are you ready to deal with the fact gay isnt a seperate race (excludes 14th amendment protection) and that the freedom of religious expression guaranteed by line 1 amendment 1 of the US constitution trumps state anti discrimination laws?

Its really that simple. The florist is well within their rights and the gay couple has no protection that supersedes it.

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#15
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View PostUF_alum, on 23 April 2013 - 04:31 PM, said:

Do you not know how to make a logical consistent argument, or do you pretend to be this ignorant?


Its a litte bit of both, though I wouldn't use the word "pretend"
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