News

Law & the Courts

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.

Most Popular

Culture

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More