OLYMPIA, Washington -- The State Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled against a florist who had refused to sell flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding, objecting on religious grounds.
Barronelle Stutzman, 72, says she plans to continue her legal battle by appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Tri-City Herald reports.
"You can't buy me off. You can't destroy me and everything I've worked for, and everything I believe in," Stutzman said after the ruling, the Herald reports.
But the State Supreme Court says Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richmond, Wash., violated anti-discrimination law when she refused to sell flowers to longtime customers Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed in 2013, according to the Seattle Times.
"We're thrilled that the Washington Supreme Court has ruled in our favor. The court affirmed that we are on the right side of the law and the right side of history," Ingersoll and Freed said in a statement, according to the Times.
Stutzman's lawyers had argued that her floral arrangements were artistic expression and thus protected under the First Amendment.
The court ruled that Stutzman's flowers are not protected free speech and providing them to the couple would not be an endorsement of same-sex marriage, the Associated Press reports.
"As Stutzman acknowledged at deposition, providing flowers for a wedding between Muslims would not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Islam, nor would providing flowers for an atheist couple endorse atheism," the ruling said.
The Washington case isn't the only one in regard to whether businesses must serve same-sex couples. A Colorado case involving a baker who would not make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Lambda Legal.
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