Discrimination | Gay Marriage | News | Washington

Washington State Sues Florist Who Refused Gay Couple's Wedding


You may recall Baronelle Stuzman, the Washington state florist who told a longtime customer that she would not do his wedding because of her relationship with Jesus.

She's now being sued by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the SeattlePI reports:

Ferguson said he sent a March 28 letter to owner Barronelle Stutzman asking her to reconsider and supply flowers to customer Robert Ingersoll.  Through an attorney, Stutzman declined to change her position.

“As Attorney General, it is my job to enforce the laws of the state of Washington,” said Ferguson.  “Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation.  If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same sex couples the same product or service.”

The AG's office s asking that a $2,000 fine be imposed for every violation in a complaint filed in Benton County Superior Court.

NOM is already bleating: "Like clockwork, those who disagree with gay marriage are being fined and forced out of the public square -- by the state-imposed redefinition of marriage."

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  1. "Like clockwork, those who disagree with gay marriage are being fined and forced out of the public square -- by the state-imposed redefinition of marriage."

    NOM logic: If you disagree with the law, you can break it.

    Posted by: kpo5 | Apr 10, 2013 12:54:23 PM

  2. Like clockwork, those who disagree with gay marriage are crying like spoiled little babies when legal recourse is taken to prevent discrimination in America.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 10, 2013 12:55:20 PM

  3. And lets not forget that the people of Washington had a vote on this issue so its really the people of Washington who "imposed" marriage equality on the state. BTW this has nothing to do with marriage its being prosecuted under WA state's consumer protection law, but then again I guess NOM doesn't pay attention to that kind of detail.

    Posted by: Terry | Apr 10, 2013 12:55:59 PM

  4. This woman could have come up with 100 reasons for declining to do the flowers - she chose the bigoted reason (real as it was for her). She's been caught in a trap she set and now she's the "victim." Very typical.

    Posted by: hamish | Apr 10, 2013 12:59:23 PM

  5. So now the woman who discriminated against a couple and broke the law is a victim? No way.

    Posted by: MuscleModelBlog.com | Apr 10, 2013 1:02:40 PM

  6. Let all the whingers whinge and all the sheeples bleat. This is what I love about the law. Cry yourself a river, but it won't float you far enough away from its long arm. I hope the prosecution of this rather stupid bigot (but is there any other kind?) serves as a shining example.

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 10, 2013 1:09:20 PM

  7. Zlick - It's sad that you would cheer the erosion of the right to Freedom Of Association.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 10, 2013 1:17:33 PM

  8. She might want to have a heart-to-heart talk with that other man in her life--Jesus--about her decision. I daresay Jesus would beg to differ with her.

    Good that the consumer protection agency is going after her.

    Too bad the customer didn't know what she was all about earlier.. he could have gone elsewhere..

    Posted by: Burt | Apr 10, 2013 1:18:40 PM

  9. She chose this fight. She is NOT a victim -- she is a bigot. I am glad to see this being prosecuted. I think every engaged couple in the state ought to approach her for flowers; let her deny them all and bankrupt her business due to her bigotry.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Apr 10, 2013 1:19:27 PM

  10. The judge needs to ask her whether she inquires whether her customers had pre-marital sex, use contraception, had a divorce, had an abortion or whether they plan to serve shrimp cocktails at the wedding.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 10, 2013 1:21:31 PM

  11. I'm sure her relationship with Jesus prevents her from doing business with people commit all sorts of sins. If you have premarital sex, sex outside of marriage, eat shellfish at the wedding, then she can't provide flowers.

    Obviously, if you have ever committed a murder or theft, or have a graven image, or beared false witness, or honor another type of god, she can't provide flowers.

    In order for this woman to honor her relationship with Jesus, all clients would have to fill out an extensive form listing all their sins. Then she could determine whether they are worthy of her flowers.

    But of course, she doens't do that. Only the "sin" of homosexuality is bad enough to deny the business. The fact is that she is perfectly okay with all sorts of sinners, just not gays.

    obviously, this woman is a bigot. But she is hiding behind her religion to justify her bigotry. That, to me, is the worst type of bigot.

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 10, 2013 1:21:56 PM

  12. If she had refused to serve a Jew or Muslim or someone of another race there would be NO controversy about a lawsuit. Well despite what her know-nothing pastor or her sh*tty old book says, sexuality is as intrinsic as race and FAR more so than religion, which clearly IS a choice! (Otherwise explain "missionaries" and proselytizing.)

    And David Hearne? Please drop dead at your earliest convenience and take your Freedom Of Association bullsh*t with you. That has absolutely NOTHING to do with establishments supplying goods and services to the public!

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 10, 2013 1:24:58 PM

  13. NOM now has a new talking point other than Catholic adopting agency forced out of business for denying adoption by gay couples in Massachusetts.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 10, 2013 1:25:31 PM

  14. Ha Ha Bigots! Cases like this though are why there needs to be a federal law on discrimination in the working field. Even in states with discrimination policies, business owners are attempting to ignore the law, blatantly not follow it or evade it. I'm glad to see Washington state stepping in here and sending a clear message the state will not accept discrimination against gay people.

    This woman isn't a victim. She made her choices and her choices backfired on her.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 10, 2013 1:32:37 PM

  15. NOM is trying to pull a fast one, as usual. This case isn't about marriage at all. It's about singling out a class of people from a public business because you don't happen to like them, in clear violation of her state's non-discrimination laws. A business owner who excluded Christians (or blacks, Jews, women, redheads) would face the same consequences. She wasn't singled out; the customers she chose to discriminate against were. NOM has it backwards, surprise!

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 10, 2013 1:44:21 PM

  16. I don't know why people cannot grasp (Citizens United and Mitt Romney notwithstanding) that BUSINESSES ARE NOT PEOPLE. Businesses do not have constitutional freedoms of religion, association, etc., because BUSINESSES ARE NOT PEOPLE. A business owner has constitutional freedoms as a citizen, but those freedoms do not extend to the operation of their businesses. IT'S NOT THAT COMPLICATED.

    Posted by: Profe Sancho Panza | Apr 10, 2013 1:44:56 PM

  17. Come on back Jesus.

    Tired of hearing the goodness you stood for abused by this woman and others like her. Those that use your name in an attempt to justify their hatred and bigotry need a smack down from the source so yeah, come on back.

    Just a tiny little favor to ask though Jesus. When you come back this time make sure they see you as the person their actions do harm to. Like homeless gay kids, street beggars, suicidal bullied gay teens.

    Come back as Matthew Sheppard, Jesus.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 10, 2013 1:58:59 PM

  18. Unsurprisingly, gay fascists in the kommentariat are happy to bend over other people by force (of government). Röhm would have been proud of you guys.

    Posted by: AG | Apr 10, 2013 2:02:57 PM

  19. I think every queer in the city that wants to get married should go into her shop, ask her to do the flowers for their weddings, have her refuse, then sue her for it... she'd be out of business in no time, which means she'll have more time for her one-on-one talks to Jebus... win-win for everyone, except maybe Jebus...

    Posted by: graphicjack | Apr 10, 2013 2:03:36 PM

  20. I can easily imagine what NOM's response would be if, hypothetically the bigoted churches it supports and those churches' members were put onto a widely-circulated master list to whom opposite-minded florists would refuse to sell flowers, restaurant waiters would refuse to serve food, and realtors could keep the bigots out of respectable neighborhoods.
    We all know this has nothing to do with some general notion of wanting businesses to serve only those they choose to serve. NOM wants the people it likes to be catered to everywhere while demanding special exemptions in the law spefically for their own pet prejudices.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 10, 2013 2:05:48 PM

  21. Dear NOM: STFU. We do not need your "permission" to be lawful and respectful, while insisting others do likewise. But you wouldn't know anything about that, because you preach contempt for law based on discrimination and disrespect.

    Posted by: Christophe | Apr 10, 2013 2:08:38 PM

  22. @ David Hearne: This has nothing to do with Freedom of Association. She runs a business of public accommodation, she refused service to member of a protected class under Washington state statute, and she broke the law.

    If she were invited to the wedding, and refused, then that's within her right under freedom of association. But denial of public accommodation is illegal in this country, and has been since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Apr 10, 2013 2:11:41 PM

  23. Like clockwork another self-loathing homosexual....

    That butch haircut and corduroy shirt. You can't fool me honey.

    Posted by: AllBeefPatty | Apr 10, 2013 2:15:11 PM

  24. You liberals are all the same. Why can't you just accept that some people have a right to discriminate against us? My family has the freedom to tell me how much they wish I wasn't their son and I have the freedom to arm myself with assault rifles in case my family ever gets any ideas about getting rid of me. Again.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 10, 2013 2:25:36 PM

  25. David Hearne= troll.

    Posted by: jht | Apr 10, 2013 2:28:44 PM

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