Arlene’s Flowers Appealing Superior Court Ruling
Washington State Attorney General has offered a generous settlement to the owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland. But she may decline.
Baronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers, says she plans to appeal.
Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom ruled Stutzman broke the state's Consumer Protection Act by denying floral services to a same sex couple in 2013. The case had wound up in court, with Attorney General Bob Ferguson prosecuting.
The statutes of the Consumer Protection Act do prohibit any form of discrimination, including for sexual orientation. It does not offer any room for religious exemptions.
Ferguson announced he is willing to settle the case for $2,000, plus $1 for court costs. Numerous citizens, even some of Stutzman's supporters, are surprised she is appealing. Some companies face possible financial destruction by settling.
Ferguson has publicly stated there would be at least one condition attached to the settlement. Stutzman and Arlene's would be legally bound to never discriminate in such a fashion again. The specific terms of the settlement have not been publicly released except for his comment.
Her attorney, Kristen Waggoner, issued this statement:
Our nation is at a point where the government is not just saying what we cannot say, but we are now at a point where the government is telling us what we must say, and that is terrifying. It violates our cherished tradition, our freedom of expression, our freedom of religion. it is a frightening place to be."
Quote courtesy of KNDU TV.