Richland florist appeals case to U.S. Supreme Court

photo courtesy Alliance Defending Freedom

A Richland, WA.  florist is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a decision by the state’s high court which concluded she violated the law by refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.

Lawyers for Barronelle Stutzman on Friday contended the state Supreme Court decision violated her First Amendment protection for artistic expression.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys contend the 72-year-old Stutzman should not have to surrender her freedom in order to run her family business, Arlene’s Flowers.

She contended that providing flowers for a same-sex marriage would violate her religious beliefs. But the state court held that providing flowers would not serve as an endorsement of same-sex marriage.

Back in 2013, Baronelle Stutzman, who owns Arlene’s Flowers, refused to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding, that started a court battle. Attorney General Bob Ferguson representing Washington state says her refusal is against the state anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws.

In February of 2015, Stutzman refused a settlement offered by the state. Later that year, the Benton County Superior Court ruled she had violated state law, and in February of 2016 the state Supreme Court upheld that ruling. When the decision came out, Stutzman said she would take it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

NewsRado 610KONA’s Macey Enger contributed to this story

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