Letter: Arlene's owner has personal conflict to face

July 15, 2013 

Readers expressing their support of the owner of Arlene's Flowers are missing fundamental points. Washington state made same sex marriage legal. (Using the word "marriage" and all that is associated with it). Having said that, I do have empathy towards the owner of Arlene's as this law puts her in direct conflict with her religious beliefs. Many of us are faced with moral, ethical, and religious dilemmas but we must deal with these on a personal level within the confines of the law and without discrimination against others.

Several letters eschew the seriousness of this issue stating that the couple should quietly seek other florists who will help them. Seriously? Who's to say the caterer, the tux shop, the band, etc. won't refuse service as well? This is not an exaggeration but could become real scenarios if this is not stopped.

I applaud the gentlemen taking a stand. Their response to this situation is far reaching, represents many, and sets a precedence. We all enjoy the freedom of opinion, religion and cultural beliefs. However, marriage laws are determined by the state, not the church. I for one, am proud to live in a state who "walks the talk" of equality.

SUSAN STADE, West Richland

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