Richland florist petitions U.S. Supreme Court to take Arlene’s Flowers case

A Richland florist officially asked the U.S. Supreme Court Friday to reverse a ruling by the state’s high court which upheld the decision that she did violate the law by refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex marriage.

Baronelle Stutzman’s attorney filed a petition asking the justices to change the ruling on the grounds of her First Amendment protection for artistic expression. Her attorney from the Alliance Defending Freedom is also asking the court to consolidate her case and a similar case out of Colorado involving a cake decorator.

Back in 2013, Baronelle Stutzman, who owns Arlene’s Flowers, refused to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding, that started a court battle. Attorney General Bob Ferguson representing Washington state says her refusal is against the state anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws.

In February of 2015, Stutzman refused a settlement offered by the state. Later that year, the Benton County Superior Court ruled she had violated state law, and in February of 2016 the state Supreme Court upheld that ruling. When the decision came out, Stutzman said she would take it to the U.S. Supreme Court.