ACLU, AG sue florist for refusing service to gay couple

Apr 18, 2013

The American Civil Liberties Union in Washington state has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Kennewick gay couple denied service at a flower shop.

The group says the lawsuit against Barronelle Stutzman was filed Thursday in Benton County Superior Court. She owns Arlene's Flowers and Gifts in Richland.

The lawsuit is in response to a March 1 incident in which Stutzman refused service to longtime customer Robert Ingersoll after learning he was getting married to his long-time partner.

Stutzman said serving them is against her religious beliefs.

The lawsuit seeks a court order barring her from discriminating against customers on the basis of sexual orientation and damages for violation of the couple's rights.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is also suing the florist.