Author Topic: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick  (Read 2548 times)

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Offline Cincinnatus

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This one is occurring in my own back yard, so to speak.

Unlike a number of similar cases from around the country, the discrimination action taken against Arlene’s Flowers in Richland came straight from the state’s attorney general, and not a victim.

A few months ago the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, Barronelle Stutzman, declined to provide flowers to a long-time client because he wanted them for a same-sex marriage. She said she could not provide the service because she opposed same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

The customer, Robert Ingersoll, vented about the encounter on social media. He has since said he and Stutzman had agreed to disagree. Janet Guthrie of the attorney general’s office confirmed by e-mail Tuesday Ingersoll did not file a complaint. Attorney General Bob Ferguson took action against the store after reading of the encounter in the news.

On March 28, Ferguson sent a letter to Stuzman requesting she reconsider her actions and sign an agreement indicating she would comply with Washington law (The Consumer Protection Act).

Through her attorney, she refused.

The state has now filed a complaint in Benton County Superior Court seeking a permanent injunction requiring her to comply and seeking a $2,000 fine for each violation of the law.

According to Ferguson:
“As Attorney General, it is my job to enforce the laws of the state of Washington. Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation. If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same-sex couples the same product or service.

http://newstalk870.am/ag-discrimination-suit-against-arlenes-flowers-not-triggered-by-consumer/

Ferguson, like most statewide political leaders in WA, is a Democrat. Big surprise, huh?

This suit is receiving nationwide attention partly because it is a test case involving a defense of religious freedom but also because this state's AG initiated it on his own without any complaint. The lawyers for Arlene's Flowers have asked this be transferred to a federal court as it involves Constitutional issues so it may foreshadow similar issues under ObamaCare. Meanwhile AG Ferguson is more than ready to spend as many taxpayer dollars as is necessary to force Arlene's to violate its principles and obey his will.
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Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 02:12:52 PM »
Update:

We posed a few questions to the Washington State Attorney General’s office about the Arlene’s Flowers case.

When the office filed its discrimination suit against Arlene’s Flowers and owner Baronelle Stutzman, various published reports indicated it was unprecedented for the attorney general to take action in a consumer-related complaint without an actual complaint.

Examples usually include the allegedly-injured party filing a complaint with the Washington State Human Rights Commission, or seeking out the AG’s office. In the case of Robert Ingersoll — the man turned away from Arlene’s after seeking flowers for a same-sex wedding — did neither. Ingersoll and his partner did, however, seek help from the ACLU.

The AG’s office told Newstalk 870  they acted upon the complaint after hearing about it through news reports. We asked Janet Guthrie, Communications Director for AG Robert Ferguson some questions related to the suit. She sent the following reply:

“As noted in the release, we brought this action under the Consumer Protection Act, not under the Washington Law Against Discrimination. Discrimination against consumers on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of the Consumer Protection Act, and it is not unprecedented or unusual for the Attorney General’s Office to enforce the Consumer Protection Act.

The Consumer Protection Act since 2006 has had specific language forbidding a business or person who supplies goods and services from discriminating on the basis of sexual preference or other related factors. The AG’s position is they believe Arlene’s is in violation of that law.

Her attorneys argue a business person is being forced to provide certain types of services against their religious or moral beliefs. They argue this is no different than a musician being forced to compose music, or an artist being forced to paint a picture, against their will.

http://newstalk870.am/wa-attorney-general-replies-to-questions-about-arlenes-flowers-suit/?trackback=fbshare_top
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Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 02:16:37 PM »
This has always been the end game of the homo-mafia, to shut down any and all opposition and to force acceptance of their behavior.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 05:42:32 PM »
I recognize the Arlene's story is local to my state and area but it has national implications and they are willing to accept help in fighting the Liberal Leviathan.

There has been many requests asking how to contribute to our defense fund. We have set up a PayPal account for those who wish to support us.

You can also go into any Key Bank and make a donation or mail your donation directly to Arlene’s Flowers Defense Fund, 1177 Lee Blvd., Richland, WA 99352

Thank you, your are greatly appreciated.


http://www.arlenesflowers.com/donate.html

I doubt this is necessary but nevertheless I do ask you pray for them, too.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 05:44:24 PM by Cincinnatus »
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Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2013, 01:09:01 AM »
Arlene's is back in the news. Now the ACLU has joined the lynch mob.

After saying they would consider legal action, the ACLU is helping a same-sex couple sue Arlene’s Flowers.

The ACLU is assisting Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll, who were turned away when they requested flowers from the Richland store for their wedding.

The ACLU previously sent owner Baronelle Stutzman’s attorneys a letter requesting the store apologize, agree to provide them services, and instead of legal fees make a donation to a charity. Stutzman’s attorneys argue her being forced to provide the wedding services violates her First Amendment rights.

 As previously reported by Newstalk 870, Stutzman’s attorneys had until April 17 to accept the offer. At that time ACLU representative Doug Honig said they would consider legal action. Now a suit has being filed in Benton County with the help of the ACLU.

According to the suit, the two men are seeking an end to the alleged discriminatory practices, monetary damages and attorneys fees.

http://newstalk870.am/aclu-follows-through-with-lawsuit-against-arlenes-flowers-suit-filed-in-benton-county/

Sexual orientation, not in the Constitution, matters. Freedom of religion, in the Constitution, doesn't.
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Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 12:35:34 AM »
This story has made a national publication, The Christian Science Monitor, and is posted up on Drudge.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2013/0419/Florist-sued-again-for-refusing-to-provide-flowers-for-gay-wedding?nav=87-frontpage-entryInsideMonitor
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Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 09:21:27 PM »
One of the best state senators in WA has introduced a bill designed to protect Arlene's and reaffirm religious liberty.

Yesterday, Sen. Sharon Brown, whose district includes Arlene’s Flowers, introduced legislation (SB 5927) that would protect Arlene’s Flowers religious liberty and provide protection from liability for declining to provide services in situation like this.

The bill amends the state’s non-discrimination statute and states that it cannot force someone to provide services, if doing so would violate their conscience or strongly held religious convictions.  While this would apply to wedding ceremonies, including polygamous and/or same-sex wedding ceremonies, it would also apply generally to works of art, conventions, conferences, parties, or published messages like artwork, literature, or website design that could include a message that a business or individual would not be comfortable lending their services to.

This bill is a step in the right direction for freedom of religion and rights of conscience. The way the non-discrimination statute is currently being applied suggests that religious freedom is trumped by the right to never be offended or annoyed by a business’s decisions...

Arlene’s Flowers had sold flowers to the gay couple involved in this lawsuit for years and even employed homosexuals.  The job of providing floral services for a wedding ceremony, however, is different than simply selling flowers to a customer because it involves going to the location, creating arrangements , and generally being part of the event.  This particular business owner was not comfortable with that.


Incidentally if you would like to tell our Fascist AG what you think: If you have thoughts about the lawsuit, you can contact Attorney General Bob Ferguson about this lawsuit by calling 360-753-6200.. Call him. Doesn't matter if you live in WA or not. This is a matter of religious freedom that affects us all.

Sharon Brown, meanwhile, remains one of our best and works sympathetically with our very active local Tea Party and its Agenda 21 subcommittee. Someday, I hope, she will take on Murray or Cantwell.

http://www.fpiw.org/about/family-policy-blog/bill-introduced-to-protect-arlene%E2%80%99s-flowers-religious-freedom.html

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Offline Cincinnatus

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Arlene's Flowers and SB 5927 produce some fallout.

According to the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, a staff member for GOP Senator Mike Hewitt allegedly stirred the pot with a comment about a new bill being considered in the legislature.

Hewitt is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 5927, which would allow businesses to deny services to gay customers based upon religious or philosophical beliefs. The bill was created in response to the ACLU lawsuit filed against Arlene’s Flowers in Richland. A gay couple are suing the store’s owner because she declined to provide floral services for their wedding citing religious convictions. The State Attorney General’s Office has also filed a suit, claiming it violates state discrimination laws.

Seattle resident Jay Castro reportedly called Hewitt’s office to ask about SB 5927. He asked a staff member “What are rural gays supposed to do if the the only gas station or grocery store for miles won’t sell them gas or food?” The staffer allegedly told Castro, “Gay people can just grow their own food.”

This story was picked up by the Huffington Post. The Union Bulletin claims the story and comments have gone viral, and goes on to say a number of people and some businesses are afraid of the negative image the comments will create of the city.

Much of the alleged viral response is from outside the community. Numerous outside groups supposedly have called for a boycott of the Walla Walla area.


Walla Walla is a very lovely city, Mike Hewitt is a principled Conservative, and that staffer is an idiot.

Incidentally the source where I got this also linked to FoxNews with this story of its own.

•Catholic Charities has been barred from assisting with adoptions in Massachusetts, Washington D.C. and Illinois because they declined to consider same-sex couples.

•Owners of a small bed and breakfast in Vermont, and one in Hawaii were sued by same-sex couples for refusing to host a same-sex wedding reception, and rent a  room, respectively.

•A Methodist Church in New Jersey was sued for not allowing it’s facilities to be rented for same-sex weddings.  A state circuit court judge ruled against the church.

•In New Mexico, Elane Photography was approached by a same-sex couple for wedding pictures.  They declined, and even offered the couple the names of other photography businesses. The Christian owner was sued under the state’s anti-discrimination laws, and lost.

•Lexington, Kentucky t-shirt shop Hands On Original was approached by the local Gay and Lesbian Services organization about printing shirts for an event. The Christian business declined, but gave the group a list of other print shops that had comparable prices. The group sued the business and won. Now, outside special interest groups are trying to get the printing company evicted from their premises. This is what the Lexington Human Rights Commission Director Raymond Sexton said about the case:

“We have subpoena power and have the backing of the law, We are a law enforcement agency and people have to comply.”

•An Allstate Insurance employee wrote an on-line essay, outside of work, disagreeing with same-sex marriage, and was reportedly fired as a result. The man is attempting to get his job back. Sources say the company did not want people to think his personal views were those of the company.


http://newstalk870.am/uproar-over-alleged-comments-about-gays-from-wa-legislative-staffer-hiding-real-issue/
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Offline Atomic Cow

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It's only a matter of time before churches are shut down by jack booted government thugs because they are sources of "hate" toward the bleep.

We're heading for Nazi Germany faster than anyone ever thought possible except it won't be the Jews who will be told to wear yellow stars.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Cincinnatus

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Naturally this story continues to be live and well here in the NW. I now bring your attention to an online poll being conducted by the "Seattle Times" regarding the dispute. I ask all who read this post go to the link and vote.

"Poll: Should Bob Ferguson sue florist for refusing to serve same-sex couple?"

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/opinionnw/2013/04/10/gay-marriage-florist-lawsuit/

I voted a few moments ago and at that time Arlene's was carrying the day with (about) 53% (330) of the vote, the homo Fascist lobby had (about) 35% (220).

Please vote. Ty.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 07:50:59 PM by Cincinnatus »
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 08:20:01 PM »
Arlene's fights back.

Richland florist sues state for violating her religious freedom

"Richland — A florist facing lawsuits from the Washington attorney general and the American Civil Liberties Union for refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding has filed her own lawsuit against the state for violating her religious beliefs.

Attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal ministry that advocates for people's religious rights, filed the suit against the state in Benton County Superior Court on Thursday on behalf of Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene's Flowers. It argues state Attorney General Bob Ferguson's suit is attempting to force Stutzman to act contrary to her religious convictions in violation of her constitutional freedoms.

“Everyone knows that plenty of florists are willing to assist in same-sex ceremonies, so the state has no reason to force Barronelle to violate her deeply held beliefs,” said Senior Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt in a statement.

The lawsuits stem from an incident in March when Stutzman refused to provide flowers to a long-time client because she said same-sex marriage was against her personal beliefs. The couple wrote about Stutzman's decision on Facebook, getting the attorney general's attention."

I first heard of this development in the case on local radio where it was stated Ms Stutzman is basing her suit on the constitution of the state of Washington which also guarantees religious freedom, not the federal provision.

The states fascist AG, meanwhile, is arguing she has religious freedom but not in her business dealings.

Constitution of the state of Washington, Art I, section 11 (applicable only when it doesn't violate Liberal demands apparently):

"Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That this article shall not be so construed as to forbid the employment by the state of a chaplain for such of the state custodial, correctional, and mental institutions, or by a county's or public hospital district's hospital, health care facility, or hospice, as in the discretion of the legislature may seem justified. No religious qualification shall be required for any public office or employment, nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror, in consequence of his opinion on matters of religion, nor be questioned in any court of justice touching his religious belief to affect the weight of his testimony. [AMENDMENT 88, 1993 House Joint Resolution No. 4200, p 3062. Approved November 2, 1993.]"

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2013/05/16/2397325/richland-florist-sues-state-for.html


« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 08:20:33 PM by Cincinnatus »
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Offline Cincinnatus

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« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 04:08:11 PM by Cincinnatus »
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Offline SouthTexas

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2013, 04:53:51 PM »
The fix?

You can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead dead flowers by the mail
Send me dead flowers to my wedding
And I won't forget to put roses on your grave.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTjni_t3MgY" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTjni_t3MgY</a>

Online EC

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 04:05:06 AM »
Something I can not find anywhere after a search. Cincinnatus - maybe you have the details?

What is the actual couple's response to this? They certainly didn't start the lawsuit, the AG pulled it out of his backside if I recall right.
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Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2013, 12:50:15 AM »
Been awhile but it's back in the news.

Quote
Benton County Judge Rules Lawsuit Against Arlene’s Flowers Can Proceed


Quote
Attorneys for Arlene’s Flower were unsuccessful in getting at least part of a lawsuit dropped that was filed against the shop by the ACLU and the Washington state attorney general.

Earlier this week, Superior Court Judge Sal Mendoza ruled the suit can continue. Owner Baronelle Stutzman’s attorneys had argued that the Consumer Protection Act, under which the couple had sued, only applies to certain criteria. According to the Tacoma News-Tribune:

‘Attorneys for Stutzman and her shop argued the CPA claim doesn’t hold up because private consumers must show financial injury to their business or property, and the couple didn’t do that.” (bold lettering added for emphasis).

However, in an unusual ruling, one that is not widely or routinely utilized, Mendoza said the suit could continue because he counted the couples’ “wasted travel and time” as part of the damages. He did say showing injury to business or property is required, but travel and time count as well.

JD Bristol, one of Stutzman’s attorneys, dropped a great line about the ruling: the order confirms that ‘aside from politics, we’re going to trial over $5 or $10 of gas.’”


http://newstalk870.am/benton-county-judge-rules-lawsuit-against-arlenes-flowers-can-proceed/
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Online EC

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Re: Who Was Hurt by Arlene’s Flowers? Attorney General Going Maverick
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2013, 12:56:10 AM »
Thanks for the update.  :beer:

Quote
JD Bristol, one of Stutzman’s attorneys, dropped a great line about the ruling: the order confirms that ‘aside from politics, we’re going to trial over $5 or $10 of gas.’”

Yep.
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