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Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case of Florist Who Wouldn’t Serve Gay Wedding

The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., June 25, 2018. (Toya Sarno Jordan/Reuters)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the case of a Christian florist who was ruled to have broken state civil-rights law when she refused to do the flower arrangements for a long-time customer’s same-sex wedding.

Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash., was sued by the state and a male couple in 2013 for refusing to do the flowers for the couple’s wedding. Stutzman, a Southern Baptist who objects to same-sex marriage on religious grounds, was fined $1000 and told that as long as she makes flower arrangements for weddings, she must serve anyone who asks for one.

In returning the case to the lower courts, the Supreme Court said that the ruling against Stutzman must be reconsidered in light of SCOTUS’s recent decision in favor of a Christian baker from Colorado in a similar case. But that decision was interpreted by some to be narrow in scope, so its implications for Stutzman’s case remain unclear.

For their part, Stutzman’s lawyers said she employs gay people and was friendly with one of the men in the couple. They also argued that the state of Washington was biased in its application of the law, noting another case where a Seattle coffee shop faced no repercussions for kicking out pro-life activists.

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