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SCOTUS won't hear case of Washington florist who refused same-sex wedding

26 June 2018
SCOTUS won't hear case of Washington florist who refused same-sex wedding

The court today vacated the earlier decision in the Washington case and remanded it back to the Washington State Supreme Court "for further consideration in light of" the Colorado cake shop case.

In an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the 7-2 majority found that comments by a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission displayed an anti-religious bias - depriving Phillips of the respect and consideration his beliefs deserved.

However, senior ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner argued the state of Washington, through Ferguson, has shown the kind of hostility toward religion displayed by the state of Colorado toward in the Phillips case.

Shirley Connuck, right, of Falls Church, Va., holds up a sign representing a district in Texas, as the Supreme Court hears a case on possible partisan gerrymandering by state legislatures October 3, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

The Supreme Court "did not indicate there was anything wrong" with the Washington court's decision, HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said in a written statement.

Ferguson has shown hostility "to my religious beliefs", Stutzman said.

In the Washington case, florist Barronelle Stutzman had sold flowers to one of the partners in the same-sex couple for years. Stutzman had counted Robert Ingersoll as a customer for almost a decade when he came in one day in 2013 and said he wanted to talk about flowers for his wedding to his longtime companion, Curt Freed. But she referred him to other excellent florists in the area.

The baker refused to make a cake for the couple after he found out they were celebrating their wedding.

Ingersoll initially said that he understood and asked her to recommend another florist.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), representing the couple in the case, is arguing that the high court's order does not constitute a determination on the case's merits. Stutzman said she held his hand and said she had to decline his request because of her "relationship with Jesus Christ". Making a Murderer chronicled Dassey and Avery's trial and subsequent conviction, raising questions about Dassey's confession to being a co-conspirator since he was 16 years old at the time and considered mentally deficient.

Because her wedding arrangements are such a deeply personal labor of love, she said that she felt that she could not in good conscience design flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding. Texas appealed, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, which resulted in the ruling on Monday.

Just like that, Texas years-long fight over its congressional and state legislative districts is over, thanks to a Monday morning decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Waggoner said Stutzman had sold the customer, Rob Ingersoll, flowers for almost a decade and knew he was gay, but that his marriage did not comport with her beliefs and she could not provide services for it. The nature of the suit could cost her not only her business but her home as well.