Supreme Court tosses out ruling against Washington florist who declined to make arrangement for gay wedding

Source: Washington Examiner | June 25, 2018 | Melissa Quinn

The U.S. Supreme Court has tossed out a state court ruling against a Washington florist who declined to make a floral arrangement for a same-sex couple’s wedding and sent the case back to the lower court in light of its ruling this term in a case involving a Colorado baker.

The court announced Monday it was vacating the ruling from the Washington Supreme Court and remanding the case back to the state high court.

The Washington Supreme Court found florist Barronelle Stutzman violated a state civil rights law when she declined to make a floral arrangement for a longtime customer’s same-sex wedding in 2013 due to her religious objections.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the case comes after it issued a narrow ruling in a similar case involving a Colorado baker who declined to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding reception.

In that decision, the justices focused primarily on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of baker Jack Phillips and determined the commission was hostile toward his sincerely held religious beliefs in violation of his First Amendment rights.

With its ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the high court left unanswered the key question of whether businesses can decline to provide services to LGBT people due to their religious beliefs.

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