Supreme Court grants appeal of florist who refused to serve gay wedding

Supreme Court grants appeal of florist who refused to serve gay wedding

The case is Arlene's Flowers v. Washington, No. 17-108 at the Supreme Court of the United States.

The highest court vacated a state ruling Monday that found Barronelle Stutzman, the 73-year-old owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, violated state law by refusing to service a same-sex wedding ceremony.

A new wrinkle in his ongoing saga developed on Monday morning, when the Supreme Court declined to hear a plea to intervene in Dassey's case.

It focused primarily on the hostility of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission towards Phillips's religious beliefs in violation of his free speech rights.

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Based on that, it's hard to see how the Washington Supreme Court could issue a sweeping decision enabling anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of "religious freedom" under those instructions. The Washington state attorney general sued her and won.

Washington state's Supreme Court a year ago rejected Stutzman's argument that forcing her to create floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding would violate her free speech rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and would be tantamount to endorsing same-sex marriage. Texas took the case to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court said the district court should use the legislature's map as a starting point for redistricting.

Stutzman has always maintained she was exercising her First Amendment rights when she refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding, explaining it goes against her Christian beliefs.

"I truly want the best for my friend", Stutzman wrote in a letter to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in 2015. The panel of judges on the 7th US Circuit Court Appeals ruled against Dassey and expressed that he spoke "freely".

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Under federal law, the Supreme Court is to largely defer to decisions made by lower courts and to intervene only if the decision by the state court was unreasonable.

The Washington Supreme Court will now reconsider the case in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's June 4 ruling, which found the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had discriminated against Christian baker Jack Phillips by forcing him to participate in a same-sex marriage by baking and decorating a wedding cake. "I am confident they will come to the same conclusion they did in their previous, unanimous ruling upholding the civil rights of a same-sex couple in our state".

In 2013, a florist refused to provide flowers for Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll's wedding.

In response to the rulings in those cases, attorneys for North Carolina lawmakers filed a brief last week with the Supreme Court saying the case over the state's congressional districts should be sent back to the lower court to further address questions raised in the Wisconsin case.

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"This conflicts with the Supreme Court's recognition in Masterpiece Cakeshop that it was "inappropriate" for the government to draw parallels between those religious beliefs and 'defenses of slavery'".

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