- The Washington Times - Monday, June 25, 2018

The Supreme Court on Monday vacated a Washington state ruling that found a florist violated the rights of a same-sex couple she refused to sell flowers for their wedding ceremony and ordered a do-over.

Arlene’s Flowers, the shop in question, will now have a chance to argue her own First Amendment rights of free speech, based on her religious beliefs, protect her from punishment for refusing to provide services for same-sex ceremonies.

The justices, in a brief order, told Washington’s high court to rethink the case in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling several weeks ago that overturned a similar decision in Colorado, arguing that state’s anti-discrimination commission showed religious hostility in ruling against a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony.

In the Washington case, florist Barronelle Stutzman had sold flowers to one of the partners in the same-sex couple for years. But she declined to sell to him for a same-sex wedding, arguing that would amount to her putting her imprimatur on the ceremony, which would violate her religious beliefs.

The state said that violated its public accommodation law preventing businesses and services from discriminating against customers on the basis of race, sex or other characteristics.

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