Barronelle Stuzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, WA has “politely” discriminated against a gay couple who has been using her services for years by refusing to provide flowers for their upcoming wedding because of her “religious” beliefs which never ever stood in the way of taking their money before.
It was a very exciting moment, probably one of the happiest days of my life,” said Rob Ingersoll of his engagement to his partner of nine years, Curt. So when it was time to make preparations for their September 19th, Rob wanted to go with the florist he and Curt have been using for years, Barronelle Stuzman, the owner of Arelene’s Flowers in Richland. However, when he asked her, Stuzman politely declined. “And I just took his hands and I said I’m sorry I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Stuzman who believes marriage should be between one man and one woman.
Despite the fact that Stuzman has broken the Washington State Law Against Discrimination, found in RCW 49.60.030, the Freedom from discrimination – Declaration of civil rights.
(1) The right to be free from discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability is recognized as and declared to be a civil right. This right shall include, but not be limited to:
(d) The right to engage in credit transactions without discrimination.
In her mind now a martyr and a drama queen has been born: “I’ve had hate mail. I’ve had people who want to burn my building, I’ve had people say they’ll never shop here again and tell all their friends. And I’ve had other people say thanks for standing up for your convictions and we’ll shop here and we’ll back you in any way we can,” Stuzman said and insists she does not discriminate against same-sex couples or any group for that matter. “We hire gay people. I have friends that are gay, that wasn’t the issue. The issue is that I just didn’t want to participate in the marriage,” she said.”
Replace “gay” with “black” and make it a discussion about interracial marriage. Then feel time warp you back 40+ years.
Please feel free to visit Arlene’s Flowers on Facebook and voice your opinion.