Attorneys for Richland flower shop owner Barronelle Stutzman have a filed a brief with the state Supreme Court that addresses arguments made by the state and the ACLU in the case.
The brief was filed Friday. It’s available at www.tinyurl.com/arlenesbrief.
Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, wants the state’s high court to review the case. Last year, a Benton County Superior Court judge ruled she broke the law when she refused to provide services for a same-sex wedding.
Stutzman appealed. The Supreme Court can take on the case or send it to the intermediate Court of Appeals.
A decision is expected relatively soon.
“Barronelle and many others like her around the country have been more than willing to serve any and all customers, but they are understandably not willing to promote any and all messages,” said Kristen Waggoner, one of Stutzman’s attorneys, in a statement. “No one should be faced with a choice between their freedom of speech and conscience on one hand and personal and professional ruin on the other. Americans oppose unjust government actions that strong-arm citizens to create expression against their will.”
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the lower 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 Supreme Court will agree that Washington law does not allow it.”