Lawsuit(s) in Washington anti-discrimination case
April 11, 2013 6:48 AM Subscribe
posted by roomthreeseventeen (232 comments total)
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The state of Washington has filed suit
against Arlene's Flowers, whose owner, Barronelle Stutzman, refused to provide flowers for the wedding of regular customers Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed.
The case is set to emerge as the first major test of anti-discrimination protections since Washington State voters legalized same-sex marriage last fall.
Ingersoll and Freed (through their attorneys, in coordination with the ACLU
) sent a letter
to the florist shop yesterday, saying she has two options: (1) She can vow to never again discriminate in her services for gay people, write an apology letter to be published in the Tri-City Herald, and contribute $5,000 to a local LGBT youth center, or (2) she can get sued a second time for violating the Washington State Civil Rights Act.
Stutzman's lawyers argue that she is entitled to exercise her religious convictions and that arranging flowers is an act of personal expression; any demands or limitations on those expressive flower arrangements is a violation of right to free speech.