Washington florist to be sued for refusing gay wedding flowers

Rainbow flowersBY STEVE WILLIAMS

A Washington florist is being sued by State Attorney General Bob Ferguson for refusing to provide wedding bouquets for a same-sex couple, apparently because of her religious beliefs. While this may sound an innocuous case, expect it to be the media darling of the Religious Right. “As Attorney General, it is my job to enforce the laws of the state of Washington,” said Ferguson in a statement. “Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation.  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.”

The AG’s office originally sent a letter to Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers warning her of the legal ramifications of her actions and encouraging out-of-court mediation on grounds she agree to comply with the law and make a public statement to that effect. She has so far refused, as evidenced by a posting on the shop’s Facebook account, and the deadline of April 17 is fast approaching.

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