RICHLAND, Wash. -- The ACLU of Washington is seeking remedies from a Richland florist for discriminating against a gay couple.
In a letter to the owner of Arlene's Flowers Wednesday, the ACLU said that the business' refusal to sell flowers to the couple violates the Washington Law Against Discrimination.
Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll have been a couple for almost nine years and are planning a fall wedding. Last month, Ingersoll approached Arlene's Flowers store owner Barronelle Stutzman to arrange flowers for the wedding. However, Stutzman told Ingersoll that her business would not provide the wedding flowers because of her opposition to same-sex marriage.
Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination
because of sexual orientation, bars businesses from refusing to sell goods,
merchandise, and services to any person because of their sexual orientation.
courts have found that businesses open to the general public may not violate
anti-discrimination laws, even on the basis of sincerely held religious
The couple is seeking the following remedies from Arlene's Flowers:
Flowers agree not to refuse to provide flowers and other goods and services to
any person on the basis of his or her sexual orientation.
Flowers agree to write a letter of apology to Mr. Freed and Mr. Ingersoll to be
published in the Tri-City Herald.
Flowers agree to donate $5,000 to the Vista Youth Center in Kennewick, in lieu
of payment of attorney's fees.