Ferguson: Supreme Court discrimination ruling "complete unequivocal victory"

Now the owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, Stutzman was asked to provide the flowers for the same-sex wedding ceremony of one of her long-time customers, Rob Ingersoll.

Robert Ingersoll and his partner, Curt Freed married in 2013, but had been customers at the florist for nearly ten years.

In their decision, the court wrote "neutral, generally applicable law that serves our state government's compelling interest in eradicating discrimination in public accommodations". Stutzman appealed the fine and ruling to the Washington Supreme Court and today lost at that level as well.

Stutzman has a very unusual backup argument: She insists that the court should create a new, "narrow" rule that would let only "businesses, such as newspapers, publicists, speechwriters, photographers, and other artists, that create expression" discriminate against same-sex couples. A trial court ruled against Stutzman, fining her $1001 and ordering her to stop discriminating.

Stutzman was found guilty of violating the state's anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws and fined $1,000 plus $1 in court fees.

The Supreme Court heard those arguments last November during a special session.

We also hold that the WLAD may be enforced against Stutzman because it does not infringe any constitutional protection.

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Stutzman is being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a non-profit legal group that specializes in cases of religious freedom. "When people experience acts of discrimination, they feel that they are not full and equal members of our society, and we're delighted that the Washington Supreme Court has recognized this". "It's wrong for the state to force any citizen to support a particular view about marriage or anything else against their will".

It has persuaded federal courts to grant and uphold a restraining order against the Trump administration's immigration crackdown. One of those couples was Ingersoll and Freed, together since 2004.

"Stutzman knew that Ingersoll is gay and that he had been in a relationship with Freed for several years", said the high court opinion.

The lawsuit against the business was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Freed and Ingersoll who have been a couple since 2004.

When he asked her to supply the arrangements for his wedding, however, she declined, explaining that while she was more than happy to sell him flowers as an individual, her Christian faith prevented her from participating in a ceremony that violated her beliefs.

The fact that the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous opinion - as did a US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel in the Trump immigration crackdown - has added resonance.

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