Florist's Refusal Triggers Suit
Washington State sues florist for refusing service to gay couple.
(KING) Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a consumer protection lawsuit against a florist who refused to provide wedding flowers to a same-sex couple.
The lawsuit is the first of its kind since Washington voters legalized same-sex marriage last fall.
The complaint was filed in Benton County on Tuesday against Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers and Gifts in Richland. The lawsuit is in response to a March 1 incident where she refused service to longtime customer Robert Ingersoll.
On the shop's Facebook page,Stutzman described what happened as follows:
"This customer has been in many times and purchased flowers from us. When it came to doing his wedding, I said "I could not do it because of my relationship with Jesus Christ." He thanked me and said "He respected my opinion." We talked and gave each other a hug, and he left. I believe biblically that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is my conviction, yours may be different."