[6/7/19] Flower Shop Loses Same-sex Lawsuit
The Washington State Supreme Court yesterday upheld its previous decision in Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s lawsuit against a Richland florist. The court again found that Arlene’s Flowers violated Washington’s Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination by refusing to serve a same-sex couple seeking to buy wedding flowers in 2013. The justices said state courts did not act with religious animus in their ruling.
Ferguson said Washington state law protects same-sex couples from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, the same way it protects Washingtonians from discrimination based on their religion, veteran or military status, disability, race and other protected classes. Ferguson sought and received only $1 in attorney’s fees in the case.
Under state law, a business need not provide a particular service, but if it chooses to do so for couples of the opposite sex, it must provide that service equally to same-sex couples.
The State Supreme Court reached the same conclusion in its 2017 ruling on the case.