Judge rules that florist discriminated unlawfully by refusing same-sex wedding

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A US judge this week ruled that a florist which refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding was in violation of the state of Washington’s anti-discrimination laws.

The ruling was made by Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander C Ekstrom, who said the florist, Arlene’s Flowers, violated consumer protections in saying she would not sell flowers to the longtime customer for their wedding due to her religious beliefs.

Judge Ekstrom said the couple were protected by the state of Washington’s Law Against Discrimination.

The law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Robert Ingersoll and his partner, Curt Freed married in 2013, but had been customers at the florist for almost ten years.

Florist Barronelle Stutzman told them she wouldn’t provide wedding flowers because of her “relationship with Jesus Christ.”

The florist could face a penalty of up to $2,000, for violating the law.