OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Washington’s Supreme Court says it will hear an appeal of a Richland flower shop owner who ran into legal trouble for refusing to provide services for a same-sex wedding in 2013.
The court issued a decision Wednesday saying it would hear the case of Barronelle Stutzman, the proprietor of Arlene’s Flowers. Last year, Stutzman was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for refusing to provide flowers for the wedding of a long-time customer. The great-grandmother has since become a national figure, testifying before state lawmakers in Indiana and Kansas.
A Benton County Superior Court judge found that Stutzman’s refusal provide flowers because of her customers’ sexual orientation violated Washington’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws. Her attorneys say that she referred the customers to other local florists and that if the ruling stands, it would infringe on her religious freedoms.
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