Barronelle Stutzman, the Richland,
Washington florist who has refused to supply flowers for a gay
wedding, is being sued by the state.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on
Tuesday filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Arlene's Flowers
& Gifts, the Seattle
Ferguson contacted Stutzman in March,
asking her in a letter to reconsider supplying flowers for the
wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. She declined.
“As Attorney General, it is my job to
enforce the laws of the state of Washington,” Ferguson said.
“Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate
against customers based on sexual orientation. If a business
provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their
weddings, then it must provide same sex couples the same product or
Stutzman explained last month that
providing the service would be a violation of her faith.
“He said he decided to get married,
and before he got through I grabbed his hand and said, 'I am sorry.
I can't do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus
Christ,'” Stutzman told CBS affiliate KEPR.
“We hugged each other and he left,
and I assumed that was the end of the story,” she added.
Ferguson is asking the court to impose
a $2,000 fine for each violation of the Consumer Protection Act.
Stutzman has threatened legal action of
her own, saying that “a number of national non-profit organizations
… are ready for a fight.”
According to weekly The
Stranger, Ingersoll and Freed are contemplating a lawsuit of