Several prominent businesses including Amazon, Expedia, Group Health, Microsoft and REI have signed onto a “friend of the court” brief in the Arlene’s Flowers case.
The businesses want the state Supreme Court to uphold a ruling that the Richland flower shop’s owner broke the law when she refused to provide services for a same-sex wedding.
They believe significant economic harm would come from allowing discrimination based on religious beliefs, including difficultly recruiting and retaining the best employees to compete globally, a news release said.
The brief was prepared by Leonard Feldman of Peterson Wampold Rosato Luna Knopp, and Jamila Johnson of Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt. Both law firms have offices in Seattle.
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Barronelle Stutzman is the owner of Arlene’s Flowers. A Benton County judge ruled last year that she broke the law when she told longtime customer Robert Ingersoll in March 2013 that she couldn’t provide services for his wedding to partner Curt Freed because of her religious beliefs. Stutzman is a Christian from the Southern Baptist tradition.
Her attorneys appealed the Benton County court’s ruling to the state Supreme Court.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.