The Washington State Supreme Court ruled today that Richland Florist, Arlene’s Flowers violated the law by refusing to serve a same-sex couple seeking to buy wedding flowers in 2013.
“It is a complete unequivocal victory for equality in the state of Washington and sends a clear message around the country as well on the important message of equality,” said Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a press conference yesterday in Olympia.
Ferguson brought the case to court, praised the High Court ruling
“If I walked into a restaurant to with my wife to celebrate our twins’ First Communion, because we’re Catholic, it’s obvious that the restaurant owner cannot refuse us because we’re Catholic, we all accept that,” Ferguson said. “Sexual orientation is a protected class in exactly the same way as religion or race or age or other protected classes in Washington State.”
Ferguson added that in this case, Arlene’s Flowers is “not required to sell wedding flowers,” but are required to sell wedding flowers “equally, if they choose to sell them.”
Under Washington law, a business need not provide a particular service, but if it chooses to do so for couples of the opposite sex, it must provide that service equally to same-sex couples.