Saturday, February 18, 2017

The War of the Roses

Here in the other Washington, we've been waiting for our state Supreme Court to decide on the case of Barronelle Stutzman, the Richland florist who refused to provide flowers for the 2013 wedding of Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed because of her religious objections to same-sex marriage.

This week the verdict came down:  The florist needs to wake up and smell the flowers.

The court ruled, and unanimously, that Stutzman violated anti-discrimination law.  The justices pooh-poohed her claim that she caused no harm because other area florists were willing to provide flowers.

Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud wrote, "We emphatically reject this argument. We agree with Ingersoll and Freed that 'this case is no more about access to flowers than civil rights cases were about access to sandwiches.'"

Mighty things are built upon peonies and salami.

McCloud wrote, "As every other court to address the question has concluded, public accommodations laws do not simply guarantee access to goods or services. Instead, they serve a broader societal purpose: eradicating barriers to the equal treatment of all citizens in the commercial marketplace."

Because she still wants to be a barrier, Stutzman plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  But she's also hoping President Trump makes good on a campaign promise and issues an executive order protecting religious freedom.

Religious freedom.  Discrimination.  A rose by any other name smells just as stinky.