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Ruling expected in ongoing case against florist who refused to serve gay couple’s wedding

Joseph McCormick February 16, 2017

The Supreme Court in Washington is set on Wednesday to rule in a case of a florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.

The ruling is expected to come on Thursday, after the court listed the case of Baronnelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, among five it would issue rulings in .

The florist says she was exercising her First Amendment rights when she refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding back in 2013.

She had previously served the couple, but said when it came to their wedding that it would have gone against her beliefs as a Christian.

After being fined, and supporters of hers raising more than $100k for her defence, she was sued by the Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, as well as the couple.

Supporters of Stutzman back in 2015 raised over $100,000 to pay her legal fees.

A ruling was made by Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander C Ekstrom in February 2015, who said the florist, Arlene’s Flowers, violated consumer protections in saying she would not sell flowers to the longtime customer for their wedding due to her religious beliefs.

Baronelle Stutzman was later fined $1,000, and $1 for court costs, but the couple had been seeking fees and damages.

“The 70-year-old grandmother may lose her business, her home, and her savings – because she stood for her faith, she could lose everything she owns,” the florist’s site previously.

Judge Ekstrom said the couple were protected by the state of Washington’s Law Against Discrimination.

The law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Robert Ingersoll and his partner, Curt Freed married in 2013, but had been customers at the florist for almost ten years.

Stutzman told them she wouldn’t provide wedding flowers because of her “relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Donations to support a homophobic pizzeria the owners of which said they’d refuse to serve a gay wedding recently reached almost a million dollars.

More: arlene's flowers, barronelle stutzman, florist, US

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