Comments

  1. Francis says

    She’s a mean old woman. Anyone who would do something like this is simply mean. It’s a mean, nasty, intentionally spiteful thing to do.

    Also, it violates Washington state law. Rob Ingersoll’s face was really devastating to see. He was truly broken up about this. It’s so sad to see people hurting during what should be a celebratory time. Hopefully he sues this awful woman and her business. That’s the only way bigots will learn.

  2. terry says

    these trolls for jesus must be held accountable to the law otherwise equality will never be attained. She is running a business not a church. She caters to the public not those she finds acceptable.

  3. says

    Here we go again–what makes some business owners so thick as to think that their personal relationship with unicorns or chocolate or Jesus Christ (who I’m guessing is unaware that he and Barronelle are BFFs) matters when they own a business that is meant to serve the public without singling groups out for discrimination. Ultimately, she’ll have to choose between Jesus (cause Jesus was all about turning people away) and taking the consequences of ignoring the law. Eventually they’ll learn that this is no more acceptable than turning away a couple because of their race, ethnicity, or religious beliefs.

  4. Howard says

    Washington business owners have to be taught that if you offer services to the general public, you cannot discriminate against the public based on your religious beliefs. I hope this flower shop owner is made a very public example.

  5. says

    Sorry, ah just can’ give no flowers to you Jews. I know you’re buying them for your wife for Seder dinner, but that’s against mah relashuship with Jeebus.

    *barf*

    Society’s failures love, more than anything else it seems, the Freedom to Discriminate.

    may she go out of business. and have no insurance. and then take ill

  6. Kyle says

    There are plenty of straight marriages that Jesus would not have approved of. Will you refuse flowers for those weddings? Since your opposition to gay marriage is based on the premise that homosexuality is sinful, would you refuse flowers for a guy to give to his boyfriend?

    You either have an austere business model or you’re a hypocrite and a bigot.

  7. Caliban says

    You know, having imaginary friends past the age of five is really pretty sad. Especially when your “relationship” with them gets in the way of you appreciating the real world.

  8. johnosahon says

    GIRL you are still going to go to hell if you think your god hates the gays or gay marriage, after all you have been collecting their money and business for years now, knowing full well they were gay.

  9. JT says

    Why would any gay man work for this woman? And for all the bigots that say “I have gay friends”, just because you consider them friends, doesn’t mean they consider you one.

  10. says

    here’s the thing – and it’s similar to how i feel about the “no gays for marriage” arguments: be consistent and i’ll be fine with your bigotry.

    she should only provide flowers for heterosexuals who are of her specific Christian denomination, and make sure that the flowers she gives out are only to be used for her version of Christian Use.

    just like if the anti-gay marriage folks made marriage something that only a heterosexual couple that passes a rigorous fertility test can have access to. civil unions for all that can’t conceive naturally; gay or straight.

    alas, that would be applying logic and reason to the minds of people who possess neither.

    time and time again, they only become “Christians” when gays come up.

  11. Trev says

    The Jesus I learned about in Sunday school would have done the flowers and gone to the wedding. The last person he’d have spent time with would be the pious, self-riteous temple gatekeepers who decide who gets in and who has to stay out on the street.

  12. andrew says

    Rob and Curt should boycott her shop and get all their gay and straight friends to do likewise. They have been customers of her shop for years, didn’t they ever detect that they were dealing with a bigot?

  13. blonder says

    I’m proud to be gay and proud to be a Christian. I have no issues. Why do people like this have issues. I love and accept my orientation and love my Christianity.
    I would gladly arrange flowers but I don’t have that magic touch.
    Move on to another florist that deserves your pink dollar and will give you kindness!

  14. Dearcomrade says

    Like the homophobic cake makers in Gresham, Oregon she’ll probably see a short term up tick in business from the local haters (i.e. good Christians). That’s good for her because she’ll need the extra cash to pay for her legal fees and that of the customer she denied service too. He should hire a law firm from Seattle, at a nice reasonable hourly rate of $250.00

    RCW 49.60.030
    Freedom from discrimination — Declaration of civil rights.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=49.60.030

    (2) Any person deeming himself or herself injured by any act in violation of this chapter shall have a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further violations, or to recover the actual damages sustained by the person, or both, together with the cost of suit including reasonable attorneys’ fees or any other appropriate remedy authorized by this chapter or the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, or the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3601 et seq.).

  15. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    Based on her relationship with Jesus? But every bit of evidence we have from the New Testament indicates that Jesus wasn’t a homophobe. And there’s always the possibility that Jesus was either gay or bisexual. What of this woman’s relationship with Jesus in that case?

  16. Mandrake says

    Clearly she didn’t mind taking their money before. If she really has such a good relationship with Jesus, she should instantly return all that past business cash (filthy lucre, echhh) – and take care in the future to ask her customers their sexual orientation before doing any business with them. One can’t be too careful when in such a “holy” personal relationship.

  17. will says

    Oh, let her be. If she feels that strongly about it (and she seemed polite in declining), let the guy go to one of the other dozen flower shops in his area. We don’t need to make an issue out of every single mom & pop store that has an issue with gay marriage. Is she violating the law? Fine. Whatever. We aree winning this fight. Public opinion is shifting to our side daily. We don’t need to hurl insults at a middle-aged woman. I’m sure many feral opinionated posters here will disagree with this, which is fine. Lets pick our battles wisely and not go after every homophobe in every nook and cranny.

  18. Bill says

    Exactly where in the New Testament does Jesus say, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for refusing to give flowers to gay couples, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Just curious.

    I mean, it’s not like Jesus wanted to corner the market on flowers.

  19. Janice says

    “I jus can’t do yer weddin buckets cause yer a heathen muslim and jesus told me to hate ya with a this here self-righteous smile on my overweight face.”

    This woman is nothing but a mean old bigot. She’s going to have a big surprise when she finally meets Jesus in the next life and he’s having a party with the gays and all the other folks of whom she so self-righteously disapproves.

    PS: If you’re so worried about sin, looks like you forgot that gluttony is one them. Or do you consider yourself above your own book of moral laws?

  20. gayalltheway says

    I need to see some evidence about her claims that she received hate mails threatening to burn her building down. It’s easy to say things like that to make the other side look bad when in fact you know that you are on the wrong and losing side of the argument.

  21. Bill says

    @Will: I’d agree that we don’t need to hurl insults at her – politely filing a complaint with the state attorney general’s office will suffice.

    She’s violating the law, and should know it. While she can give her flowers to Jesus, she may end up giving a chunk of her cash to Caesar (to use a Biblical reference).

  22. says

    While the intellectually stunted neocons may say “it’s her right, and it’s our right to shop elsewhere”, they miss the point.

    i mean the OTHER point; not the point about how this actually goes against WA’s laws.

    the other point – that there’s a complete and total difference between “i won’t serve you because you’re gay” and “i won’t serve you because you’re a discriminatory bigot.”

    if you can’t see the difference, you’re probably a gay republican.

  23. timothyjames says

    When will people use God given free will and see through the nonsense of that magic book called the bible. It has been used for both hospitals and holocausts. Does the florist still stone prostitutes. God says… Question religion. Choose love over hate and give the wedding some flowers lady.

  24. will says

    Can we at least stop calling her a mean vicious lady?

    —–
    Stuzman politely declined. “And I just took his hands and I said I’m sorry I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.”
    —–

    We have SO MUCH to be grateful for, especially with the March 26 & 27 SCOTUS trials coming up. This is a garden-variety Christian who believes marriage is between a man and a woman. People are born and indoctrinated with these prejudices and she may be one of the ones too old to change. Go to another florist. It does our movement a disservice when we target every cake maker and dress alterer and flower woman with a court case if they don’t comply with our requests. We have bigger fish to fry.

    That said, I’m highly optimistic that Kennedy is going to swing our way at verdict time in June — and maybe Roberts, too. I wish they’d televise this case. It has, potentially, national implications and future generations might like to see it.

  25. Joe says

    No Will, I’m afraid you’re wrong on this one. Look at it clearly… There are religions in this country that actually preach that persons of color are less-righteous than “white” people. Some business owners truly believe that [terrible] doctrine to be true. Yet, under Washington law, they do NOT have the right to discriminate against those persons of color, no matter how strongly they believe in their own personal religious convictions. Bigots do not get a free pass. It’s a matter of law.

  26. Joe says

    Her toll-free number is 800-692-0706. Please call her and encourage her – in keeping with her convictions – to refund all the money that she willingly took from that gay couple over the years.

  27. andrew says

    @Joe: I think what you are suggesting is harassment. I think a better idea is to boycott her shop and get all your gay and straight friends and relatives to do likewise.

  28. says

    Except, Will, you have it backwards: the guys didn’t single her out or target her for disrespect; she targeted them. They’d been loyal customers for years and had every reason to believe they could enter her shop and be treated with dignity, like any other customer. By calling attention to this, they are doing a service to other gay couples and their allies who will now know to shop elsewhere.

    The point isn’t that they can’t find another flower shop but that they shouldn’t have to, especially not in a state that has passed law saying that if you want to serve the public in this state you serve all the public regardless of your personal intolerances. If a shop owner can’t treat customers as they would rightly expect to be treated themselves, they should be out of business. And the guys calling her on this did so very politely, so the bigot doesn’t get bonus points for falsely citing Jesus in a nice tone.

    Being grateful of the progress toward overturning DOMA doesn’t mean we have to take it when business owners hang out a no-gays-allowed sign in violation of the law.

  29. LiamB says

    I get so sick of these idiots who claim that it’s their “relationship with Jesus” that makes them bigots. Jesus never preached against homosexuality. He never stated that they couldn’t get married in the eyes of God. Stop using Jesus as your excuse; you’re just a bigot, plain and simple.

  30. says

    This woman violates the Bible everyday; (1) By working, (2) By being an owner of a business who would oversee her employees, specifically men, (3) Not wearing clothing of one thread, etc., etc., etc. She cherry-picks the Bible to support her bigotry. What people [we] need to do, is when these thumpers come out, fight them back with their own transgressions. If we start cherry-picking the Bible back at them, they will have no avenue to retreat to, for they, themselves, are in violation of the source they use against others.

  31. Geoff says

    Yet her “relationship” with the corpse of a man who may or may not have existed thousands of years ago…is (somehow) sanctioned? Mental illness. Period.

  32. Clayton says

    When my husband and I got married, we made sure all the vendors knew in advance that it was a same sex ceremony. If anyone had objected, we would have happily brought our business elsewhere. We didn’t see s point in giving money to bigots, and lets face it: there’s always another florist.

  33. Matt says

    I’m with Geoff. I’m an atheist but as someone who’s married to a minister, I am bound to say that religion is not “all bad.”

    But this right here is a great example of the “bad” that religion can bring. A terribly sad story.

  34. Steve says

    You can’t have a relationship with an imaginary friend. She needs to be on medication.

    Christians are such vile hypocrites. Just about every one of them. Of course she doesn’t deny flowers to interfaith couples, to adulterers who want a bouquet for their mistress, to previously divorced people or any other one who committed one of the hundreds of made up “sins”. Neither did anyone ask her to to “participate” in the wedding. So what she did is completely arbitrary.

  35. LCR Jay says

    Businesses reserve the right to refuse service. I’m sure they wouldn’t have to look hard to find another florist that would be willing to accept their business. Go ahead and boycott and attempt to make trouble for this woman — all that’ll happen is her business experiencing a bump in sales from people who disagree with being harassed for her beliefs.

  36. Tarc says

    I’d thenaskher for a refund for all of their previous purchases. Obviously, his money was good enough then… And, frankly, anyone that’s actually read the Bible would know that Jesus would be the first to be down with the gays.

  37. David Hearne says

    I believe in Freedom of Association. However, I also believe in the courage of your convictions and would have no problem with a law which requires a business to post their exclusion policy on the front door or window in three inch letters.

    We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone…. and assert it against :

    Gay people
    Jews
    Hunchbacks
    and dwarves.

  38. Bill says

    @LCR Jay: Businesses in that particular state do not have an unconditional right to refuse service.

    A business can have a “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policy. It can not have a “no shirt, no shoes, no service unless you are a white, blond, smooth surfer dude with six-pack abs” policy.

  39. Sean in Dallas says

    She’s a bigot.

    But I’d rather know now, before the flowers arrive, that she doesn’t like gays marrying each other.

    That being said, boycott her till she begs the gays back. And I agree, for someone so against marriage equality, she sure puts out a gay, doesn’t she?

  40. Francis says

    Sorry Will, but those days have ended. She deserves every single bit of backlash she gets. She needs to be sued. The extreme bigots need to learn their place and they’ll only learn through lawsuits.

    There is nothing respectful and nice in doing something like this to someone. This is mean and disparaging. Incredibly crude. Bad actions have consequences.

  41. Dan B Seattle says

    It’s important to realize that she probably believes in the Jesus her preacher tells her about, and confuses Jesus’ message with other parts of the Bible. The formula is: Leviticus in Bible therefore Leviticus = Jesus. Paul wrote about Jesus therefore Paul’s writings = Jesus’ beliefs.

    We feel the pain of her rejection of these guys and holler at her in outrage but this anger will hurt us and not do a thing to change her beliefs or actions. I would hope that these guys get in touch with the Pride Foundation in Seattle and PFLAG in the Tri-Cities. They can come up with a plan to open up dialogue, with the power of a lawsuit, or a complaint to the AG’s office, to provide a little “encouragement”.

  42. MarcF says

    Jesus was ok with her taking cash off the nice gay guys for yeeeaaars though right? I wish the version of jesus that this muppet spoke to would be a litlle more consistent.

  43. rise says

    I’ve always said that women are more homophobic than men and are better at hiding it. Think of what women do with make-up. They are good at disguises.

    From female pop singers to female florists, they are very homophobic.

  44. andrew says

    @CB: Thats good advice. Ask the bible thumpers if we should stone to death all who work on the Sabbath, curse their parents, committ adultery etc. After all that is what the “Good” Book teaches.

  45. says

    Jesus has a policy on flowers for gays ?

    My personal relationship with the local Leprechauns is more open and tolerant than this delusional loon’s with Jesus.
    At least the Leprechauns would do a great floral tribute.

  46. millerbeach says

    She needs to retire. Maybe in her spare time, she can finally discover what Jesus is all about…love. That’s it. She’s so full of hate, there is no possible way she can have room for Jesus in that hating heart of hers. No lady, you are way wrong. Jesus is about love. You do not have a relationship with Him, at least not a healthy one. Jesus would have provided flowers for a wedding, because weddings are about the celebration of love. Why is this so hard for some to see, especially when they claim to know Jesus?

  47. johny says

    Seriously… at the end of the day, it’s flowers! Simply flowers sold to someone for whatever reason…

    Why would any sane, reasonable, business-conscious retailer give two sh*ts what happens to the flowers once they’re sold or WHAT reason the flowers were purchased?

    Why invite such scorn of the public upon yourself?

    Clearly, this woman has issues much deeper than her religion.

  48. Caliban says

    All of these stories of gay customers being turned away are offensive, but this one strikes me as being worse than usual. In most cases there is little or no previous relationship between the person seeking goods or services and the bakery/photographer/whatever. But in this case it was a “longtime customer” who assumed that, based on their longstanding association, this person would provide goods and services for an event that is more important to him than all the others.

    How upsetting to discover that a person with whom you thought you had a rapport, who respected you, all along thought of you as “lesser than,” not equal or worthy. I think that’s something all of us deal with in a way, not knowing if some of the people we deal with on a daily basis would happily vote against our rights.

    And all because she has “a relationship with Jesus”? No, actually, she doesn’t. And I don’t mean that in the atheist sense (though I’m not a believer), but what she believes she has a relationship with is the REPRESENTATION of “Jesus” as described by her sect or preacher. In a sense all deities are like mirrors, reflecting the values we invest in them, which are usually identical to our own. It could be Feed The Poor Jesus, Prosperity Jesus, Exclusive Jesus, Welcoming Jesus, or a thousand others. In that way its similar to Barbie dolls- you pick the one with accessories that appeal to you, not the other way around.

    Unfortunately, a dictum from computer programming too often applies, as in this case, Garbage In/Garbage Out.

  49. Book says

    Are there fines in place for these well-documented acts of discrimination? I never hear about the florists and bakers and hoteliers who refuse to do weddings getting sanctioned in any way! A nice $50,000 fine would make me feel better about things, and would take out of the pockets of the owners what money they’ve made from their loyal gay customers over the years before they sprung the big denial on them. I’m sure their church and congregation would be happy to pony up the dough if the business couldn’t afford it. That’s what fellowship is all about, right?

  50. JoyZeeBoy says

    Courts look for precedence. There is, apparently, plenty of precedence for her having accepted this couple’s money as long as it didn’t offend her to do so.

    She’s an idiot.

    The courts will find for the plaintiffs.

  51. Gigi says

    “I have friends who are gay.” Nice try c#nt! She had no problem taking money from the guy for 9 years but then, all of a sudden, she doensn’t want to “participate” in their wedding. Who asked her to? They asked her to provide them with flowers. Something that she’s done for 9 years.

  52. Mary says

    A good way to solve problems like this is to give people who work in these industries a decade to decide how they want to deal with the situation. Will they adapt in this time and be able to serve gays? If not, they have plenty of time to sell their business and enter/train for another profession. A decade is not as long as it seems. It’s already been about a decade since gay marriage was ruled legal in Massachusets. And then this issue won’t drag on for years and years the way social issues often do. And another obstacle has been removed from achieving gay equality.

    It’s a compromise, but I think, a reasonable one. Very few people who went into these professions ever envisioned gay marriage becoming legal.

  53. says

    It’s her business, and not the only business in town. Why is this drama queen lying awake fretting because some Christer cretin won’t serve him? Take your business elsewhere and hope the silly old bat goes bust.

  54. Bob says

    I sent her a Facebook message to the effect of “I wish you to lie awake every night thinking of the children you have helped to be called names, and not accept themselves, possibly kill themselves”

  55. Bernie says

    and now Jesus is the reason to discriminate against GBLTs….if you go into a retail type business, there is no choosing who you will sell to and who you won’t……it does not quite work that way…..and when this brilliant business woman goes out of business….guess what?….she will blame gay people….and these folks wonder why we need laws to protect GBLTs……….and I bet if Jesus was alive, he would gladly sell to gay people……

  56. Fonz says

    I pray that you all see the truth and realize that her stance is powerful and deserves respect. One day you will all bow down and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. You may mock now and think its a fairy tail and have an opinion as to what her eternal outcome will be but God says she is doing what He commands her to do and you are not talking against her but against Jesus, and for that He will deal with you as He so Wills. Having sex before marriage is wrong and having sex with the same sex is wrong becuase God says so. Whether you like it or not doesn’t matter. He died for you and thats all that counts

  57. Ripped Mittens says

    I was surprised Arlene’s Flowers would not only refuse to provide arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding due to her religious beliefs, but is now suing for her right to refuse service based on her imagined right to do so.

    Same-sex marriage is legal in the State of Washington. Both her delivery companies (UPS and FedEx) provide employee benefits for legal marriages or civil unions (depending on the the state).

    Will she stop using those services to deliver her flowers?

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