Washington court rules against florist in gay wedding case

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  • philipcfromnyc Far Rockaway, NY
    Feb. 23, 2017 10:51 a.m.

    EscherEnigma -- THANK YOU!

    You have cut to the core of the issue. If laws which prohibit discrimination against gay persons express hatred towards Christians, then it follows logically that laws which prohibit discrimination against Christians necessarily express hatred towards gay persons. You cannot have it both ways. Logic is a two way street in cases such as this. Logic does not permit a person to be selective in its application.


  • philipcfromnyc Far Rockaway, NY
    Feb. 23, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    @Counter Intelligence -- You write: "Regardless, the artists in question ... "

    Your point being?

    For the record, the overwhelming number of researchers in the field of human sexuality believe sexual orientation to be fixed by the time a person is about two or three years old, and that sexual orientation is "immutable" (i.e., not subject to change). The US Supreme Court referenced this characteristic TWICE in Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015) (the case in which SCOTUS effectively legalized same sex marriage nationwide).

    Attempts to "convert" gay persons into heterosexual persons have all, without exception, met with dismal failure -- put bluntly, a person who is gay will always be gay, regardless of whether he or she enters into a sham wedding with a member of the opposite sex, or manages to have sex with a member of the opposite sex.

    Sexual orientation is a STATE OF BEING -- the fact that it is not readily identifiable does not detract from the fact that it appears to be rooted in biology. The two theories which have gleaned the most support are the genetic theory and the hormonal theory (which holds that homosexuality is the result of hormonal influences in utero).

  • philipcfromnyc Far Rockaway, NY
    Feb. 23, 2017 10:24 a.m.

    Selling flowers is not an art. As the attorney for the gay couple noted, arranging flowers for an atheist wedding does not constitute endorsement of atheism; arranging flowers for a Muslim wedding does not constitute endorsement of Islam; and arranging flowers for a Jewish wedding does not constitute endorsement of Judaism.

    The Washington Supreme Court handed down an impeccably correct decision. Anti-discrimination measures derive their constitutionality from interpretations of the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, and have repeatedly been upheld by the US Supreme Court in the face of constitutional challenge. Such discrimination is no less pernicious than racism or sexism.


  • J. S. Houston, TX
    Feb. 21, 2017 4:31 p.m.

    @Counter Intelligence - Salt Lake City, UT

    Well, when the florist only serve opposite sex couple, but refuse to serve same sex couple, both the lower court and the higher court in Washington state consider it discrimination to gay people.

    And if there is a penalty for breaking legal contracts for those performer backing out in North Carolina, then it is justified to fine the florist for not serving same sex couple.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Feb. 20, 2017 7:18 p.m.

    @No Names Accepted
    Striking down sodomy laws, employment bans, marriage bans... That was all about hating Christians?

    Face it, what you're worried about - non-discrimination law - is the least of the things you did to us. So if it's "hatred" to enforce non-discrimination laws that protect gay people, what is or to enforce non-discrimination law that protects Christians?

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2017 6:17 p.m.

    @J. S.

    "I don't think there is a law in North Carolina not allowing a performer backing out of a concert,
    but there is a law in Washington state not allowing discrimination against gay people."

    As the article clearly states; the florist had a long history of serving the gay couple in question, she declined to make a specific product that violated her personal beliefs. When Apple computer app store generally serves religious patrons and ex-gays without question, but declines to accommodate an app from an ex-gay ministry, do you consider that discrimination too? Why is it ok for one but not the other? "Conscience for me, but not for thee"

    Btw: I am not an expert on North Carolina law, but yes, there usually is a penalty for breaking legal contracts. Regardless, the artists in question discriminated based upon other peoples thoughts, feeling and behaviors and sexuality is defined by thoughts, feelings and behaviors, not physical attributes

  • J. S. Houston, TX
    Feb. 20, 2017 5:39 p.m.

    @Counter Intelligence

    I don't think there is a law in North Carolina not allowing a performer backing out of a concert,
    but there is a law in Washington state not allowing discrimination against gay people.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2017 6:58 a.m.

    Maroon 5 and Bruce Springsteen should be thrown in jail for backing out of signed contracts when they disagreed with North Carolina law

    oh yeah, the PC dogma is : "conscience for me, but not for thee"

    Reality check: a Kosher deli not selling ham sandwich is NOT the same thing as a Jew refusing service to Gentiles - the florist had a long history of serving the couple in question, but simply chose not to provide that specific product.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 18, 2017 11:47 p.m.

    @john smith

    "Fornication"? I don't think that word means what you think it means. These people are getting married.

  • John Smith PROVO, UT
    Feb. 18, 2017 11:41 a.m.

    In my opinion, the Washington Supreme Court's ruling is a truly awful one which, combined with the public reaction to it, shows that we have far too many lawyers, judges and other people in this country whose understanding of the awful wickedness of fornication is entirely unacceptable.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Feb. 18, 2017 9:30 a.m.

    Nothing should make a strong, sincere believer in Christ, angrier than to see members of his or her own faith using their religion as a fortress for bigoted and intolerant behavior towards others. A strong believer would stand on a picket line, shoulder to shoulder with the persons being discriminated against and encourage people in their community to shop elsewhere.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 17, 2017 4:28 p.m.

    It amazes me that those that still oppose LGBT rights think they have stumbled onto some me new argument that has not failed hundreds of times including many many times in courts of law all across the country. Trust me you have not stumbled onto some new argument everyone else missed over the last several decades.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 17, 2017 1:50 p.m.

    Yet again, some posters insist on obfuscating with half truths and moving of goal posts.

    Taxpayers do not subsidize churches. In aggregate, churches reduce taxpayer burden from welfare and crime more than whatever minimal, general services churches receive. This in contrast to many nonprofits that anti-religious bigots never attack. Theaters, museums, liberal advocacy groups.

    The overt hostility to 1st amendment protections for churches (the power to tax is the power to destroy and churches enjoy constitutional protections against any effort to destroy them) demonstrates that for some, homosexual rights is more about hatred toward religion and religious beliefs & practices than about protecting the rights of sexual minorities.

    There is also a marked difference between doing business with a sinner and actively promoting, condoning, or participating in his sin with him. That some continue to conflate this despite numerous explanations on these pages suggests deceit rather than ignorance.

    Live in peace. Let others do likewise even when they peacefully withdraw association from you.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 17, 2017 1:29 p.m.

    @Fair Flower;

    Can you PLEASE show me *any* scripture that indicates doing business with a "sinner" is "against your religious belief"? Just one will do.

    "There is room for traditional religious beliefs protection and the same for the LGBT community."

    --- There is NO room for discrimination in public accomodation. If your business won't do what it set out to do, then it should close down.

    Finally, do YOU have to try shop after shop after shop when you go out for a product? If not, why should anyone else?

    Yar says:

    "All we want is to follow our religion..."

    --- Again, please provide a scriptural reference that doing business with a "sinner" isn't following your religion.

    NoNames says:

    "Nobody should be forced to... advance a social or political agenda with which they disagree. "

    --- Can I stop subsidizing churches via taxes then? (Why should religious beliefs get respect? Just because they're religious? Not.).

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Feb. 17, 2017 12:51 p.m.


    As I stated in my post, I disagree with that and gays shouldn't be denied the right to shop, buy or enter. But religious people shouldn't be forced to participate in events they don't agree with.

    You didn't answer my question about Melania Trump.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Feb. 17, 2017 10:41 a.m.

    You do know folks are using these "religious liberty" arguments beyond wedding services, right? Baker cancelled an order for a birthday cake when she found out it was for a lesbian, auto mechanic that said he'd refuse gay customers, pediatrician that dropped the daughter of lesbians, bread and breakfast places that refused gay couples when they showed up for their reservations, and remember Ms. Davis that refused to do her government job and refused gay couples seeking a marriage license?

    Sorry, but "Christians" are using the "religious liberty" excuse far and wide. Why should we believe any of you that says you want it so limited? It's not like there's history of you criminalizing, evicting, firing, and refusing any old service.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Feb. 17, 2017 9:14 a.m.

    The court is clearly trampling on religious freedom, something our righteous Utah leaders have warned about. Apparently, the Washington court would also require that Christian grocery store owners sell bread and milk to the gays when we all know that food gives them energy to do their gay, uh, stuff. Next thing you know, Christian landlords will be forced to rent apartments to those people, thereby facilitating gayish behavior that goes on behind the closed doors of those apartments. I'm appalled. /S

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Feb. 17, 2017 7:31 a.m.

    The simple solution is "if you're buying" laws.

    When a business his license they do it under one of two categories. Either they agreed to sell to every citizen in the community or they have a restricted license because they have categories of people they will not sell to.

    The first category of businesses would with then display a logo on all signage and all advertising declaring "if you are buying we are selling: we believe in the entire community."

    The second category would be required to display a logo that says "we refuse to sell to some people in our community."

    If these are sincerely held religious believes those businesses should have no problem licensing themselves and identifying themselves publicly.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2017 9:54 p.m.


    They are being forced to participate in an event they feel is against their religious beliefs. If you were talking about buying groceries at the store then I would be on your side. But no one should be forced to participate in an event with their product if they disagree with it. If the florist refuses to sell the couple flowers for their birthday celebration then I think they are wrong. But the florist doesn't want to participate in the gay wedding event for religious reasons.

    And what is the difference for designers not providing their clothes for Melanie Trump. Or artists refusing to play for the inauguration when they are paid? What is your excuse for that discrimination?

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Feb. 16, 2017 9:46 p.m.

    @the greater truth

    “Let's not be disengenous”

    Yes, let’s not.

    “The gays could come int o and buy any flowers off the shelf that the wanted and take to their wedding they were never denied access to flowers. “

    Two problems with your argument.

    1. It’s false. The florist refused to sell flowers for a wedding. Period. Nothing about willing to sell but unwilling to set up at the service. You made that alternate fact up.
    2. She did not make that same stipulation for other weddings—just gay ones.

    “They were never discriminated against.”

    The court said they were. The court got it it right. You have it wrong.

    “It is compelled servitude.”

    Get real. Servitude is forced labor without compensation. They want to purchase, with real money, her product. She was licensed to provide the product by the State of Washington. Conditional to that license was obeying the laws of the State of Washington. It is illegal to discriminate against LGBT in Washington.

    So here’s the deal. If you want to discriminate against LGBT in the market place, stay out of my state.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Feb. 16, 2017 9:32 p.m.

    Opponents can always have the final vote: vote with your wallet. Take your money elsewhere.

  • nbholladay Winterville, NC
    Feb. 16, 2017 9:04 p.m.

    Incredibly scary that this would happen. The First Amendment clearly spells out four fundamental, connected freedoms - freedom of speech, the press, religion, and assembly. It applies not just to federal law but state law. The basis of exercise of religion lies not in ceremony but in adherence to core moral values and matters of conscience. To create a law with the intent to compel people to act in direct violation of conscience on a substantive matter (procreation is a substantive matter and is directly tied up in this issue) is a serious violation of freedom of religion (ie, 'prohibiting the free exercise thereof'). This is also an ultimate form of discrimination-- it says that only people with certain beliefs can go into certain businesses. Forcing one to choose between one's occupation and one's integrity is much more egregious than the consequence of a couple having to find another place to buy flowers or cakes out of respect of the individual's conscience. It goes well beyond 'live and let live' and instead is a philosophical form of 'my way or the highway'.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Feb. 16, 2017 8:45 p.m.

    @NoNamesAcceptes: "And this is exactly why so many oppose adding homosexuals and other sexual minorities to Utah's public accommodation laws. "

    Well, that is the point, indirectly at least.

    Utah does not need to fear the outcome in Washington state or even worry about removing LGBT as a protected class when Utah may never have enough people and elected officials willing to add them to the public accommodations laws in the first place.

    But remember that whole pivot to "religious freedom" that LDS made as it became clear that SCOTUS would strike down SSM bans as unconstitutional? Well, that pivot relied on ginning up fears that Utah businesses would be forced to serve same-sex weddings against their will.

    But that never was the case.

    Utah retail business owners can still discriminate against LGBT customers to their hearts content...no matter what product or service you sell...for religious reasons, for any reason, or for no reason. No one is expecting that to change anytime soon, so Utahns...uhm...okay
    ..most Utahns....can sleep easy tonight.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 7:22 p.m.

    "...please remember that LGBT is not a protected class under Utah's public accomdations law. It is in WA state (and CO...sorry baker guy). That is why this outcome was inevitable in WA but has zero applicability to Utah."

    And this is exactly why so many oppose adding homosexuals and other sexual minorities to Utah's public accommodation laws.

    I do not believe anyone should be denied general goods or services based on sexual orientation or identity. Nobody should worry about being able to buy groceries, sit at the proverbial lunch counter, buy gas, get a motel room on a lonely stretch of highway late at night, or receive medical care. This is just common decency.

    On the other hand, differing social, political, and especially religious beliefs need to be respected.

    Most of us looked long and hard to find the florist, caterer, photographer, and/or reception center that was the right fit for our weddings. Nobody should be forced to provide creative services to any event they don't want to.

    Respect must be a two-way street with accommodations going both directions. Blowback should not be encouraged.

  • the greater truth Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 6:40 p.m.


    Let's not be disengenous.

    The gays could come int o and buy any flowers off the shelf that the wanted and take to their wedding they were never denied access to flowers.

    They were never discriminated against.

    But forcing a florist to come to wedding ceremony to "flower" a wedding they do not support. It's just obviously wrong and unconstitutional.

    It is compelled servitude. How can anyone argue forcing a owner or business into service and labor contract against their religion is a right thing.

    Gays only have rights until they violated another rights.

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 6:39 p.m.

    "Yes, I'd like to place an order. I want a flower arrangement with red, black and white, in the shape of the swastika. Oh, you're Jewish? Well legally you have to do what I tell you to do cause I'm a protected class. You aren't. This means that anything I want is good and anything you disagree with me on is bigotry and discrimination, words my organizations have funded in the media to be cast in the worst way possible. Basically, all of America will get duped into thinking I'm a victim, you're the bad guy, and my make-believe rights trump you're actual rights the constitution protected from the beginning. What's more, if you refuse you will be met with a lawsuit, fine, imprisonment, and be branded a hater for life. We'll even keep you on a list to make sure you act in line with the way we think you should act."

    Call that a bit of an Orwellian exaggeration, but the amazing thing is that I actually have a news story as a basis for everyone one of those points. In the end, I know that God will justify his people. I'm not interested in anything else anymore. Keep the commandments and trust our Creator to our very last breath.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Feb. 16, 2017 6:12 p.m.


    So, Christians are above the law?

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Feb. 16, 2017 6:10 p.m.


    "Sigh. Some people just don't understand. All we want is to follow our religion, that's all."

    So, which religious text of yours commands you to NOT sell flowers for Same Sex Weddings?

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Feb. 16, 2017 6:08 p.m.

    Unto Caesar that which is Caesar's...

    My court got it right. Washington law prohibits discrimination against LGBT in the market place. "Christian" (quotations mine) business owners licensed by the state of Washington are not above the law of the state. Period.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 6:00 p.m.

    Nobody should be forced to use creative talents to advance a social or political agenda with which they disagree.

    Liberal, secular actors are and should remain perfectly free to turn down roles in right wing or religious productions, just as conservative or religious actors are perfectly free to turn down roles that require nudity or other conduct that offends them.

    Ad agencies, political consultants, and web designers should be perfectly free to limit their work to only Democrats, only Republicans, or only Libertarians if they want to.

    A baker, florist, or reception planner should likewise be free to decline his use of creative talent to advance a project that offends him.

    He should not refuse general services like birthday cakes/photos or off-the-shelf sales based on sexual orientation of customers. But he should not be forced to actively participate in nor support events (like marriages, political rallies, etc) that offend his views.

    There is a world of difference between buying groceries, renting an apartment, or getting a job vs hiring creative talent to assist with weddings. The law should reflect that difference.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 5:59 p.m.

    If you sell flowers, then sell flowers. You need not approve of the marriage they may be used at, but that's not what your customer is asking you to do.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 5:19 p.m.

    So many in this thread want to live in the past. False claim about the history of religion, attempt to twist freedom of association etc etc etc were roundly discredited thousands of times over the last two decades and dismissed by one court after another as false reasoning. Repeating these false claims here does nothing to help your claims of moral standing.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Feb. 16, 2017 5:14 p.m.

    @fair flower
    And the religious beliefs of people opposed to miscegenation? Are they not as worthy of protection as anti-gay beliefs?

    If non-discrimination laws that include gay people are a violation of "freedom of association", so are non-discrimination laws that don't.

    @slow down
    As I said earlier, "because God" was tried as a defense in non-discrimination cases almost immediately, including the "opposing the event, not the category" line. The SCOTUS has not been impressed.

  • Yar Springville, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 5:05 p.m.

    Sigh. Some people just don't understand. All we want is to follow our religion, that's all. And there do exist religious people who don't want to do harm to gays. I hope, one day, more people realize this and not take it personally.

  • slow down Provo, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 4:35 p.m.

    As reported in the article, the argument against the florist is stunningly bad. Providing flowers for a wedding between two Muslims is a terrible analogy, because being Muslim or not Muslim has nothing to do with the institution of marriage as such. But that is not at all the case with a same-sex marriage, which contradicts the millennia-long structure of marriage across the world. In one case the definition of marriage is at stake, in the other it is not. This is incredibly easy to see, and it makes me fear that we don't even pretend to rationality any more. One can argue against the florist, but not on those grounds.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 4:14 p.m.

    I wonder what religion the florist belongs to. I'm not familiar with any religion that prohibits a merchant from providing the same goods they provide to one customer from providing those same goods to the next customer.

  • rdean92 Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 16, 2017 3:49 p.m.

    Why should they be forced to find another public florist? What if they lived in small town with no other florists? Are they just out of luck? Just like everything else, 1st florists, then bakers, then grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies. Where does it stop? In no way by providing a service to the public does it endorse Gay Marriage or any other type of religious belief or person that is not just like you. If you sell a product to the community, then sell it to everyone or don't at all. You sell your product to make money.

  • misanthrope sl, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 3:45 p.m.

    The important point is that the washing state law is unconstitutional. This is not a fight over religion, but over freedom of association. For the 'State' to have the power to force one citizen to associate with another is anti-liberty. I am saddened that so many people are willing to give up their liberty to the state; but less surprised by how many want to give power to the state to force their neighbor to give up his liberty.

  • Fair Flower Layton, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 3:18 p.m.

    I firmly believe that no one should be required to do something that goes against their religious beliefs. Just as LGBT want to be protected against discrimination, so should people be allow to not go against their conscience. This does not mean that the LGBT should not be protected, but religious freedoms need to be protected also. I don't understand why they just didn't go to another florist. Even though they were fined $1,000, I believe it was worth it. I'd happily help them pay that fine. I hope this goes to the Supreme Court. Hopefully, they will protect our religious rights. I voted for Trump because I've been so worried about the Supreme Court. There is room for traditional religious beliefs protection and the same for the LGBT community.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Feb. 16, 2017 2:24 p.m.

    Before folks in Utah get all panicked about their religious freedoms being at risk, please remember that LGBT is not a protected class under Utah's public accomdations law. It is in WA state (and CO...sorry baker guy). That is why this outcome was inevitable in WA but has zero applicability to Utah.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Feb. 16, 2017 2:21 p.m.

    Folks really need to remember that these "religious liberty" arguments are not new. They were first tried in 1965, one year after the CRA was signed.

    If they ever *did* win, the impact wouldn't be limited to discrimination against gay people, it would basically invalidate 90% of the CRA.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 16, 2017 2:19 p.m.

    It's time people stopped using religion as an excuse for racism and prejudice. If you open a business in America you have to treat all your customers without prejudice.