The Washington Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a florist who refused to provide flowers to a gay couple violated a state law that bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In a unanimous ruling, the nine members of the court sided with a gay couple from Kennewick, Wash. The florist, a devout Southern Baptist, told the couple she could not provide flowers for their wedding because of her religious beliefs. The florist, Barronelle Stutzman, said she believes participating in or allowing her employees to participate in same-sex weddings by providing flowers would be condoning same-sex marriage, counter to her religious beliefs. Stutzman appealed, marking the first time the nondiscrimination law reached the state Supreme Court in Olympia. Gay rights groups and the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued on behalf of the couple, hailed the ruling as a win for nondiscrimination ordinances that have passed in 19 states.
Washington state high court again rules against Christian florist who refused gay wedding
Washington High Court Hears Case Of Florist Who Refused To Serve Gay Wedding : NPR
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Washington High Court Hears Case Of Florist Who Refused To Serve Gay Wedding
On February 13, , Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation that established full marriage rights for same-sex couples in the state of Washington. Opponents mounted a challenge that required voters to approve the statute at a referendum , which they did on November 6. The law took effect on December 6, and the first marriages were celebrated on December 9. Within a couple of days, more than same-sex marriage licenses were issued in King County alone. Previously, in , the state had enacted the Defense of Marriage Act that restricted marriage to different-sex couples, reinforcing its statutes that had been interpreted by a state court in as imposing the same restriction.
Skip to main content. News Release:. The Court affirmed that we are on the right side of the law and the right side of history. But religious beliefs do not give any of us a right to ignore the law or to harm others because of who they are.