Supreme Court kicks case of anti-gay marriage florist back to state of Washington

Composite stock image, St. George News

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (AP) — In contrast to ruling in favor of a Colorado baker at the beginning of June who cited his religious beliefs in refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, the Supreme Court is ordering Washington courts to take a new look at the case of a florist who refused to provide services for the wedding of two men because of her religious objection to same-sex marriage.

The justices’ order Monday means the court is passing for now on the chance to decide whether business owners can refuse on religious grounds to comply with anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT people.

Baker Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, manages his shop after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that he could refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs, Lakewood, Colo., June 4, 2018 | Associated Press photo by David Zalubowski, St. George News

That’s the same issue they confronted, but ultimately passed over, in the recent ruling in favor of a Colorado baker who also objected to same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

In the Colorado case, the Supreme Court said that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission expressed anti-religious bias in violation of the baker’s constitutional rights. Washington courts will review the florist’s case for similar issues.

It’s not clear from the record that the Washington Supreme Court will evaluate Stutzman’s case any differently in light of the Colorado ruling.

Read more: Supreme Court rules for Colorado baker who refused to make same-sex couple’s wedding cake

There are no similar allegations that bias affected the state court decisions, and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the recent Supreme Court ruling will have no effect on the case against Baronelle Stutzman and her Arlene’s Flowers store in Richland, Washington.

But the Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Kristen Waggoner, who represents Stutzman, said Ferguson “pursued unprecedented measures to punish Barronelle not just in her capacity as a business owner but also in her personal capacity.”

Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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22 Comments

  • IPFreely June 25, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    If finance companies can discriminate against guns why are these thing even issues?

    • IPFreely June 25, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      Wait.. I will also answer. Good ol Obama

    • PatriotLiberal June 25, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      A gun is not a living thing. It’s impossible to discriminate against a gun

    • bikeandfish June 25, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Because gun ownership is not a protected class under civil rights law. Two very different things. And its also a corporation making a decision against another corporation not a business discriminating against an individual.

  • John June 25, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Just proves that as a business you can refuse your services to anyone any time and for any reason, just like “At Will” employment. The point is, you don’t need a reason!

    • bikeandfish June 25, 2018 at 1:39 pm

      Kind of, unless it is evident that its because its based on reasons of being part of a protected class. That can because of statements made to the client, as in the case of Masterpiece, or overwhelming evidence found otherwise, like internal memos found during discovery, etc.

      There is broad but not unlimited power to deny service as a business owner. And fron a CYA perspective its legally safer to not provide a reason.

      • IPFreely June 25, 2018 at 7:31 pm

        BF sounds like a law school drop out.

        • bikeandfish June 25, 2018 at 8:45 pm

          Nope, just a citizen with a working knowledge of government and civics.

          Swing and a miss.

          • IPFreely June 25, 2018 at 8:59 pm

            I bet you swing both ways BF

          • bikeandfish June 25, 2018 at 9:37 pm

            Ah, going old school homophobia now. Not really to worried about desperate attempts to insult me that way as I never found calling someone bisexual all that insulting or problematic. Its just a reflection of the sad lengths trolls like you go to deflect from a lack of ideas relevant to the forum or even a hint of originality.

            John has been trying this tactic for a year and failing miserably. Given your efforts the last couple days I’m not too worried you’ll do any better.

          • IPFreely June 26, 2018 at 11:01 am

            Uhhh… I meant swing lefty and righty. You are the one that assumed otherwise.

        • John June 25, 2018 at 9:25 pm

          Something like that, definitely long winded and pompous..

        • John June 25, 2018 at 10:59 pm

          b&f is a pompous know nothing blowhard.. It’s not opinion, it’s fact!

          • bikeandfish June 26, 2018 at 12:02 am

            “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

          • John June 26, 2018 at 12:07 am

            It means exactly what it think it means.. B&F is a pompous blowhard..hahahahahaha! It’s a fact and most agree!

        • John June 26, 2018 at 12:09 am

          Not a law school drop out.. just a long winded useless drop out..hahahahahahaha!

    • jaybird June 25, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      Especially when it comes to running people like the president’s press secretary Sanders out of your restaurant for doing a spin job for our fascist president.

      • IPFreely June 25, 2018 at 8:28 pm

        Gaybird.. you so funny

        • John June 25, 2018 at 11:00 pm

          jailturd likes to let his stupid show…he can’t help it, he just does..hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  • John June 25, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Something like that, definitely long winded and pompous..

  • Mike P June 26, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Ya know, this “Gay Couple” could have just walked down the street to another cake shop. But NO ! they needed to have a pissy fit and make a big deal out of it so they could have another 15 minutes of fame.

    • bikeandfish June 26, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      Black Americans could have just found another bus or another lunch counter or another college.

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