US: Two lawsuits against florist which refused service to gay couples’ weddings may be combined

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The county court in a US county will this week decide whether two separate lawsuits against a florist which refused service for a same-sex wedding will be combined.

The US state of Washington’s attorney general in April filed a lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers, which refused to provide flowers to a gay couple for their wedding, despite having served them on previous occasions.

Robert Ingersoll, the customer in question, said he had been shopping at Arlene’s for nine years before being turned down by Stutzman because of her religious beliefs. The case argues that she therefore violated the Consumer Protection Act. He and his partner filed a separate lawsuit.

The lawyer acting on behalf of Arlene’s Flowers, and owner Barronelle Stutzman, on Friday said the two lawsuit should be combined. Her attorney said that consolidating them would save time and money.

A Benton County Superior Court judge is expected to make a decision this week.

The American Civil Liberties Union is supporting the gay couple in their lawsuit against the florist.