OLYMPIA, Washington (Legal Newsline) — Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has released a statement following Arlene’s Flowers response brief for the state Supreme Court after allegations it discriminated against gay and lesbian customers.
“The defendants are offering essentially the same arguments that failed at the Superior Court,” Ferguson said. “That court recognized it is illegal in Washington for a business to offer services to opposite-sex couples yet refuse those same services to same-sex partners. My office will continue to stand against discrimination. I’m confident the [state] Supreme Court will agree that Washington law does not allow it.”
A judge from Benton County Superior Court ruled in February 2015 that Arlene’s Flowers, and its owner, Barronelle Stutzman, violated Washington’s Consumer Protection Act for allegedly refusing service to a same-sex couple.
Stutzman followed the ruling with an appeal. This recent filing responds to the state’s briefing from December.
The Superior Court permanently enjoined Arlene’s Flowers on March 27, 2015, from discriminating against any person over sexual orientation. The defendants were also dealt a $1,000 penalty.