Hobby Lobby decision not applicable to Arlene's Flowers in Richland

Tri-City HeraldJuly 1, 2014 

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on Hobby Lobby cannot be directly applied to Arlene's Flowers in Richland, according to the Family Policy Institute of Washington.

The court ruled this week that some companies can hold religious objections allowing them to opt out of a legal requirements to pay for birth control coverage.

In the case of Arlene's Flowers, owner Barronelle Stutzman said she had a religious objection to providing floral services for a wedding for two men.

The ruling in the Hobby Lobby case was based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

But the Supreme Court earlier ruled that the act cannot be applied to states, and Arlene's Flowers is being sued by Washington, according to the Family Policy Institute, a coalition of national and local organizations that aims to create public policy recognizing the significance and sanctity of the family.

In addition, the lawsuit against Arlene's Flowers was brought under Washington law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and there is no equivalent federal law, according to the institute.

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