Court Rules Against Washington State Florist Who Refused To Make Wedding Flower Arrangement For Gay Couple

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Baronelle Stutzman
Baronelle Stutzman

We previously wrote HERE of Richland, Washington Florist Baronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, who caused a row when she refused to provide her floral services for a gay wedding. Now, a Benton County Superior Court Judge ruled that she violated the state’s consumer protection act that bars discrimination against a protected class.

The legal action was brought by customer Robert Ingersoll and the Washington Attorney General’s Office.

Judge Alex Ekstom rejected Baronelle’s arguments that her actions were protected by free speech and religious freedom guarantees stating in part:

“For over 135 years, the Supreme Court has held that laws may prohibit religiously motivated action, as opposed to belief. The Courts have confirmed the power of the Legislative Branch to prohibit conduct it deems discriminatory, even where the motivation for that conduct is grounded in religious belief.”

Robert had been a customer of Arlene’s Flowers for several years prior to the incident in question. Baronelle was aware that he was gay and had a partner Curt Freed for whom he purchased flowers. When Washington statutorily provided for gay marriage in 2012, Robert asked Baronelle to make the wedding arrangement for him. But, Baronelle declined, putting her hand upon Robert’s and stating that “because of [her] relationship with Jesus Christ”, she would not be able to do so—according to her statement in a deposition.

Curt and Robert sued. They cited the Washington Consumer Protection Act and its laws against discrimination. They supported by the Washington Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the State Attorney General who welcomed the Superior Court ruling.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a statement said:

“The law is clear: If you choose to provide a service to couples of the opposite sex, you must provide the same service to same-sex couples.”

The state is seeking the two thousand dollar fine the statute provides.

The Alliance Defending Freedom organization announced the day after it would on behalf of Baronelle appeal the ruling. The alliance claimed that the ruling would bring financial ruin Baronelle and Arlene’s Flowers

By Darren Smith

Source: KOMO News

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

271 thoughts on “Court Rules Against Washington State Florist Who Refused To Make Wedding Flower Arrangement For Gay Couple”

  1. Here’s the thing, I’m not offended at all by gay people wanting lifelong relationships. I feel we can be entitled to Domestic Partnership, however this Gay Marriage thing is out of control. First who decides who is the man that wears the suit to the other guy that wears the dress?? Come on now.Afterwards they’ll adopt a child, it’s like “Tommy has two Daddies” It distorts the founding of our reproduction of civilization. They made Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve. We come of a Sperm with egg not two of a kind. That’s what gets me about this marriage non sense. I really don’t care what two people do behind closed doors whether you’re Straight, Bi-sexual or Gay as long as it’s not imposed on people especially children. A sacred vow was broken when the courts tainted the founding of marriage by letting it become two people of the same sex.. Just for your information I happen to be a homosexual in San Francisco that opposed what the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals did in overturning the votes of the people in California that didn’t want gay marriage to be legal. Please no attacks it’s just my honest opinion.

  2. [Here’s a spoofy piece I bumped into on the net. Need I say more?]

    BREAKING NEWS: The great global god El Physico has ordered the US Supreme Court to legalize all combinations involving genitals. He has already proclaimed that “GENITALS” will be immortalized above everything else in the coming world order, and El Physico moreover demands the death penalty for anyone opposing those who worship their own genitals!

  3. Judge Ekstrom and A.G. Ferguson are a couple of bigots in power.

    I doubt they would ever seriously consider the case of someone extremely “hurt” over the refusal of a kosher or halal caterer to barbecue a whole hog for an event. However, because traditional Christians are unpopular with the political clients of Ekstrom and Ferguson, they ruin Mrs. Stutzman through legal means.

    Now you know why a lot of us never believed for a minute the LGBT lobby’s insistence that their victories would never harm anyone else. And, BTW, it’s people like Ferguson and Ekstrom who are throwing the doors wide open to people like Frank Lombard.

  4. You are right, you didn’t say that you’re not a Christian–you were responding to someone else–I apologize for that.

    But the rest remains the same

    It is YOU making this post a pulpit–you’ve taken this post into never-never land…

    I’m merely responding to your poor posts.

    If you are a Deacon, then all I can say is that your ‘church’ is in <B<DEEP DOO-DOO!

  5. Happiepappies said:
    You keep trying to bring me down and put me down and tell anyone who is listening to me not to.


    I don’t want anyone to accept what anyone says-I want the readers to find out for themselves…………………………………………………………………………

  6. No, I don’t speak in the absurd—YOU DO

    No, you don’t ‘express joy and worship’


    As I told you before, you need a new church ( which earlier you said you weren;t a Christian ) and a new study group

    You become befuddled, because you don’t have knowledge about what you speak—it’s just that simple.

    I’m not bringing you down or putting you down—the CRAP you post is doing that for you!

    I’m not going to sit back here and let you mislead those that don’t know, with your all mighty posts that you word as if you do know—which you clearly DO NOT!

    You said :
    Do you really think a book like the bible that has been written by so many people and has had an oral tradition is not going to contradict itself at times?

    What an absurd thing to say.

    King James Bible 2 Timothy 3:16

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    1 Corinthians 14:33

    You are saying that God contradicts himself—this is called Heresy………
    along with insinuating that the Bible is “absurd”…………

    I say you are absolutely wrong—and the Bible AGREES!

    You post as as source of confusion–NOT TRUTH!

    King James Version 1 Corinthians 14:33

    For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace,

    Hebrews 13:8

    Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

    1 Peter 1:25

    But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

    Galatians 1:6-9

    “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary Galatians:

    Those who would establish any other way to heaven than what the gospel of Christ reveals, will find themselves wretchedly mistaken.

    If you do not believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God–then you are wasting your time as well as everyone’s time that reads your tripe…………………….

    1. Xhawke

      This is a Law Blog It is not your pulpit.

      I am a Christian and everyone here knows it. I have never stated otherwise. You are confused. I am a cradle Presbyterian and I am a Deacon in my Chuch. Perhaps you are speaking in tongues or something and mishearing them. idk.

      You cannot cherry pick the Bible like Pastor Hagee for your convenience. It is always in some contextual form. It is absurd that you are doing an Oral Roberts Evangelical trick like that.

      I said nothing absurd. I mentioned earlier the tomes from the Old Testament that had an oral tradition. Apparently you did not understand because the New Testament was transcribed in Greek. And that is all you are quoting from,

      You have a good night now you hear sir?

  7. Happypappies:

    STILL spreading her delusions…..

    Whether she served them 20 times or 20 million times is irrelevant, because she knew that this action of providing them ‘wedding’ flowers crossed her line.

    HER LINE it’s called FREEDOM!

    You said : don’t know David. Jesus does not confound me in his Parables but the rest of the Bible does because Mend get a hold of it and twist it around.

    Man doesn’t twist ANYTHING around in the Bible—your problem is, that you don’t understand what you are reading!

    It;s called ‘Bible STUDY’!

    Anytime that you think that the Bible contradicts itself, you need to RESEARCH, because you are not understanding it correctly.

    I’d suggest that you do that, rather then posting here 10 times a day and maybe you’ll make more sense…………………..

    1. Xhawke

      I haven’t been on here for a few days. How are you? I am fine, thank you. Are you pontificating as usual? Fascinating. Do you really think a book like the bible that has been written by so many people and has had an oral tradition is not going to contradict itself at times? What an absurd thing to say. I imagine you truly believe every fundamental thing it says also. That is your Destiny to do so, as it is mine to interpret it the way I see it. In a spiritual journey to the Source – the Creator God of the Universe – the one that all of the Founders were talking about. There is not a wrong way to go. If you are an upright man and you read scripture and I doubt seriously if you go to Bible Study as much as I do. I don’t want to get in a debate about it. It doesn’t matter to me. You don’t seem to feel that being with the Lord God has anything to do with Joy and Worship. And that is all I do. I express Joy and worship and I try to heal others and all you do is criticize how I do it. When I try to speak to someone like you, I get all befuddle and I can’t get my words out properly. It’s amazing. When I am with others, the clarity of my mind is pure. So, I don’t know what to say to you. I think this conversation is useless. You keep trying to bring me down and put me down and tell anyone who is listening to me not to. It is absurd. It is as if this is your mission in life.

  8. When my husband’s daughter was getting married, the church gave them a listing of people they had worked with in the past.

    I didn’t live where she was getting married so I had no recommendations to make. The list was very helpful. The florist was doing a wedding that evening and we shared some of the florist’s arrangements. If you are planning a wedding this is a great idea. Flowers are expensive and you’re in the church a fairly short time.

    Why don’t gay people share info on businesses that worked well with them? It would make the event more special. Where is the joy forcing someone to bake your cake? Give your business to people who welcome you.

    Changes in our social structure take time to be uncontroversial. Black/white marriages were a very big issue at one time. I see lots of mixed couples now and nobody stares or makes a comment.

    1. It was a flower arrangement and the woman had no problem selling them flowers while they were living in sin at least 20 times. Personally it would have really hurt my feelings and I think it’s clearly clearly clearly discrimination and I am not backing down on this one. (see my comments) lol 😉 ‘wedding flowers are 3 percent of her freaking business. She is making a big deal out of this and being UNchristian. It’s Religious Balkanizm at it’s worst and there is too much inconsistencies It’s like Oh, your money is good enough for flower arrangements for lovers but not weddings. Now you tell me that’s not Religious Discrimination. Not on her but them. bs.

  9. Davidm2575
    You quote one part of the Bible written to hypocrites warning them not to judge, but in another place of the Bible he says that the spiritual man judges all things. So which are you going to be? The hypocrite who should not judge, or the spiritual man who judges everything?

    I don’t know David. Jesus does not confound me in his Parables but the rest of the Bible does because Mend get a hold of it and twist it around. So, I can’t answer that. I had an actual answer to a prayer once because I was so confounded by this it was tearing me apart. I already shared it once on here and I don’t know if you saw it, but what I can only describe as the Holy Spirit because the answer came from within, and I have felt comforted since, told me, “Don’t worry about it, come to me and pray with your concerns.”

    I will pray tonight about this in particular because it does have me confounded. I just don’t feel that it is our right religiously, as long as these men are following the constitution, to call them abominations just because they are because Pontiffs that were abominations said so. I know it’s in the Bible but the Christian Pontiff’s have no right to put it there as they are hypocrites.

  10. Davidm2575

    Notice Jesus Christ’s comment here

    14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” [16] [f]

    There is no cop out here ever.

    As far as the Balkanazation of Religion rights which the Lady who owned the florist was not even consistent with in her discrimination of the Homosexual Couple, well. That’s history now. She was in the wrong imo whether you can see that or not legally. This is not personal. It is a debate and I have kept it that way. I think you can legislate morals when peoples pursuit of happiness comes into question by authoritarian religions. I also think that the shoe fits on the other foot and that people should be allowed to pray at school if they want to.

    The legal system is set up so we can have it both ways since people are still not advanced enough to be reasonable and have to be narrow minded. The Church Lady can pretend all day long that she was in the right while she made money off the couple and they were probably blissed out, like I said and completely poleaxed when she discriminated against them. Say what you 2il`
    It is interesting that you seem to think that someone with a fine mind like John Locke is thinking of “God” as a Jewish Deity telling Abraham to sacrifice Issac to “test” his faith and made up rules as he went along and turned people into pillars of salt when they could not control their baser desires.

    Locke did not think that way at all. He was very modern and it mattered not to him if God was an atom or something beyond our understanding empirically. He just knew there was God the Creator. I agree with him. I go one step further and I believe that Jesus came to straighten out the Hebrew mess.

    That is my opinion. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence gives me the right to have that freedom.

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