Friday, February 17, 2017

Washington State Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Against Anti-Gay Florist

Gay-hating bigot, Barronelle Stutzman
In a unanimous ruling the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that professed religious belief does not exempt businesses from comply with public accommodation laws and that if one is open for business to the general public, then you need to serve all of the general public.  It was a sharp rebuke faux Christian martyr to Barronelle Stutzman who has become the darling of the gay hating set who believe that they are above the laws that apply to the rest of society. Under the sick reasoning of these people, not being allowed to persecute others is a form of persecution toward them.  As is always the case, the Christofascists are among the most selfish and self-centered individuals that one will likely ever meet.   To the Christofascists like Stutzman, the rights and very lives of others mean nothing despite much feigned piety and public display of religiosity.  The Seattle Times looks at this strong message to Christofascists that they are not above the law.  Here are excerpts:
A Richland florist who refused to provide flowers to a gay couple for their wedding violated anti-discrimination law, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. 
The court ruled unanimously that Barronelle Stutzman discriminated against longtime customers Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed when she refused to do the flowers for their 2013 wedding because of her religious opposition to same-sex marriage. Instead, Stutzman suggested several other florists in the area who would help them. Stutzman and her attorneys said they would appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. They also held out hope that President Donald Trump would issue an executive order protecting religious freedom, which was a campaign pledge. In its decision, the state’s highest court rejected Stutzman’s claims that since other florists in the area were willing to provide flowers, no harm resulted from her refusal. Writing for the court majority, Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud said, “We emphatically reject this argument. We agree with Ingersoll and Freed that ‘this case is no more about access to flowers than civil rights cases were about access to sandwiches.’ … As every other court to address the question has concluded, public accommodations laws do not simply guarantee access to goods or services. Instead, they serve a broader societal purpose: eradicating barriers to the equal treatment of all citizens in the commercial marketplace.” The court also rejected Stutzman’s claims that her floral arrangements were a form of artistic expression and so protected by the First Amendment. Citing the case of a New Mexico photographer who similarly refused to take pictures at a gay marriage, the court said, “while photography may be expressive, the operation of a photography business is not.” In December 2012, soon after the state legalized gay marriage, Ingersoll and Freed began planning a large wedding. Stutzman, who had provided flowers to the couple numerous times over the years, refused, citing her religious belief that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman.
Stutzman is a self-centered bigot.  Note how she hopes  Der Trumpenf├╝hrer will sign an executive order granting Christofascists special rights. These people are at threat to religious freedom of other citizens and need to be stopped. 

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