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  A BOUQUET OF WOES-ES

Washington Florist Refuses To Supply Gay Couple Flowers For Their Wedding

floral-fiascoA gay couple from Richland, Washington was shocked when the florist with whom they have been doing business for nearly a decade refused to supply flowers to their September wedding, thanks to her relationship with Jesus.

When Rob Ingersoll got engaged to his partner Curt, they turned to Barronelle Stutzman of Arelene’s Flowers where they’ve been tip-toeing through the tulips for the past nine years. Ingersoll had sent bouquets to Curt with cards reading, “Love, Rob” so it was a surprise to him when Stutzman, citing her religious beliefs, 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,” Stutzman told NBC affiliate, KNDU.

Stutzman was in turn surprised when Ingersoll posted about his experience with Arelene’s on Facebook and the post went viral. “We hugged each other and he left, and I assumed that was the end of the story,” she said. She soon found herself the recipient of threats to burn down her shop, as well as congratulations for standing up for what she believes.

What she believes, however, may have little consequence as Stutzman’s refusal to serve Ingersoll violates Washington’s anti-discrimination laws. Now the groom-to-be is unsure what steps he will take in the future, though he has been contacted by several attorneys, including the ACLU.

As for Stutzman, she maintians that she’s not homophobic, she simply subscribes to the notion of traditional marriage: one man, one woman.

“We hire gay people. I have friends that are gay, that wasn’t the issue,” she told KNDU. “The issue is that I just didn’t want to participate in the marriage.”

Well, of course she hires gay people, who does she think is going to work in a floral shop? Meanwhile, this floral fiasco is the latest nuptial no-no to befall a gay couple after a baker in Oregon denied a cake to a pair of lesbian brides and a reception hall in Texas refused to host a same-sex wedding.

In both cases, as with Arlene’s Flowers, religion was the raison d’hate-tre.

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Mar 6, 2013
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 30 Comments
    • avesraggiana
      avesraggiana

      This is easy. Take your business elsewhere. And that of your friends, family, and everyone you know.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael David Barber
      Michael David Barber

      Sue her into the iron-age from whence her beliefs came.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yaoming
      yaoming

      Was this woman able to cite the text where Jesus Christ, with whom she’s having a relationship, told her gays couldn’t get married? I didn’t think so.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      of course she’s homophobic.
      not wanting equality for any group, regardless of how it is based in your beliefs or convictions, is a form of bigotry.

      @yaoming: and yes, I am SURE she can come up with some wild interpretations of what’s in the Bible, but none of it related in any way to Christ or anything he is purported to have said.

      I wonder if she refuses to service heterosexual 2nd marriages? Because that IS one thing that Christ DID say something about. He was most adamantly anti-divorce.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Interesting, she claims that she has a relationship with Jesus. And yet there is no place in the entire Bible where Jesus said anything about gay marriage. There are a LOT of passages where he says to not be cruel etc… to others.

      This woman is just another bigot lying about her reasons to excuse her bigotry.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      Not a bigot?, you do realise if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, is genetically identical to a duck and IS a duck then it IS a duck.

      Don’t hesitate to contact her business here.

      Arlene’s Flowers
      1177 LEE BLVD
      Richland, Washington 99352
      USA
      Phone: (509) 946-7676

      Mar 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little-Kiwi
      Little-Kiwi

      boycott her out of business and leave bad reviews for the business online.

      i wonder, would she have refused to give flowers to a Jewish wedding? a bar/bat mitzvah?

      or does she only become a “Christian” when gays are involved?

      Mar 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little-Kiwi
      Little-Kiwi

      also, i’d like to see an interview with her “gay friends”

      i’d like to know how they feel about their Christian Friend thinking they’re an abomination to Christ.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      @avesraggiana: Wrong answer. Would you have said the same thing if she’d refused to serve an African American? Business owners do not have the right to discriminate. It’s illegal and she should be sued.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • erasure25
      erasure25

      @avesraggiana: And when a doctor or dentist refuses to treat you? Just go elsewhere? No. It is illegal for a business to discriminate. Period. We do not and should not accept discrimination for any reason. Sue the crap out this woman. I don’t care if she is a nice lady. If she wants to discriminate, she should run a private church. But if she wants to run a business in Washington, she need to pay her appropriate business taxes, pay legally wages to employees, AND must not discriminate when serving customers. You cannot pick and choose which laws to obey. The selling of flowers is not an expression of her religious beliefs, therefore the act or selling flowers is not covered by the first amendment right of religious expression.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Taliaferro
      Taliaferro

      There is nothing, NOTHING, in anyone’s, “relationship with Jesus Christ,” that stipulates one must be hateful to others and refuse to serve them. She might want to actually read the four Gospels and gain a better understanding of this man she claims to have a relationship with. From what she says, I suspect she is a follower not of Christ but St. Paul and reads Leviticus for pleasure.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ricky
      Ricky

      @erasure25:

      Depends what a doctor is refusing to treat you for, but working in the medical field I feel that some really SHOULD be denied treatment for some of the most absurd things they come in for (like coming into the emergency room for a low-grade fever…honestly go fuck yourself).

      And no it shouldn’t be illegal for most businesses to discriminate. And if she refused to serve blacks she would be harassed, boycotted, and lose so much business it wouldn’t even be funny. But that’s probably already going to be the case since she lives in Washington State.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      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

      Yeah, but you’ve been taking their money for nine years, you greedy cow.

      I wonder how many times she’s sent flowers to someone mistress.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MuscleModelBlog.com
      MuscleModelBlog.com

      This is a difficult situation since it seems that the owner and the gay couple have known each other for a long time. I can’t imagine how that must have felt.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yaoming
      yaoming

      @MuscleModelBlog.com: You would have realized that the “nice lady” you had been buying flowers from had been a (silent) bigot all along. Bye-bye, bigot!

      Mar 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Ricky: said…

      “And no it shouldn’t be illegal for most businesses to discriminate”
      ____________________-

      Please take the libertarian B.S. away. Society can’t function like that. I.E. Somebody owns the only gas station in a small town. They decide they will not serve blacks. The closest next station is 75 miles away.

      They have effectively made it nearly impossible for blacks to live in that town. That cannot happen. They are a public business, asking for a business license and must abide by the laws.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dresden
      Dresden

      I hate this kinda shit.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Samantha
      Samantha

      You know. As much as I dislike people not doing something because they do not believe in gay marriage, atleast she was polite about it , even he had mentioned and posted that she was.

      You also need to realize, she looks elderly, meaning she came from a completely different era and generation and completely different thoughts that she has followed her entire life. It’s hard to break old habits, and she seems she is stuck in her ways.

      I hope you all are proud of harassing an elderly woman and trying to destroy her company (That is directed at the one who actually posted her company’s information)

      I say leave her alone. It’s not like she completely disregarded him and his husband-to-be , by actually sending flowers with love notes and stuff to the significant other, she just doesn’t want to supply flowers to a gay marriage. Which is her right to choose that.

      Before anyone attacks me: I am all for gay rights , but there are people who will think differently and have different opinions on the matter.

      Now, if she was rude in her declination , then she’s just a bitch, but she was polite and explained why. So calm yourselves down, please. This isn’t chick-fila nor the salvation army where she is supporting anti-gay propaganda. She, as a human being, has the right to decline flowers for a gay marriage (even though she can be persecuted) it is still her choice.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 8:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Samantha: said…

      You know. As much as I dislike people not doing something because they do not believe in gay marriage, atleast she was polite about it , even he had mentioned and posted that she was.
      You also need to realize, she looks elderly, meaning she came from a completely different era and generation and completely different thoughts that she has followed her entire life. It’s hard to break old habits, and she seems she is stuck in her ways.
      I hope you all are proud of harassing an elderly woman and trying to destroy her company (That is directed at the one who actually posted her company’s information)
      ______________________-

      You are a pathetic person. Did you really say “At least she was polite”??? Really? Do you tell women. “Well yeah, he raped you, but you know, at least he smiled while he was doing it.” Being polite doesn’t make her any less of a hateful bigot.

      As for people “Harassing” her. Funny, she runs a public business and is breaking the law, and committing discrimination and yet apparently in your twisted version of reality she is the victim of harassment because others would like to be treated equally.

      You are a dangerously misguided person Samantha, you are blind to reality, but then again, why should you care. You’re just another straight person who thinks that if you go to a gay hairdresser that makes you the most openminded person in the world.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rcs831
      rcs831

      Sue.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hf2hvit
      hf2hvit

      She should be placed in a pen full of male wild boars after having 50 thorny rose stems thrust into her sagging, wrinkly, smelly vagina…the one with which she has a relationship with jesus.

      Mar 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ellena
      Ellena

      @Samantha: Actually it isn’t her right to choose not to provide flowers, it’s discrimination and violates the law in Washington. That indicates that she HASN’T got the right. Discrimination isn’t a right, no matter what. And the person who posted the details of her business isn’t posting anything that wasn’t already publicly available. Shame on her. There was nothing nice about what she’s done. She’s a homophobic bigot. Plan and simple.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 12:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gigi Gee
      Gigi Gee

      “She soon found herself the recipient of threats to burn down her shop, as well as congratulations for standing up for what she believes.”

      Great journalism. It should read, “She was allegedly the recipient of threats…”

      Interesting how these bigots like to throw out the “I have gay friends” line, which is supposed to mean that they can’t possibly be homophobic one would imagine. Even Rick “Frothy Mix” Santorum used it. Pathetic.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jar
      jar

      @Ricky: I some education, Ricky. Remember those lunch counters and bus companies in the south? These are a-ok with you, eh? You fail to recognize that these kinds of discriminatory practices are used against marginalized minorities. Do you really think it should be okay to not sell gasoline to someone because they are black, gay, etc? So, that person driving through the bible belt would not be able to put gas in their car to continue their trip? Finally, the prohibition of discrimination in public accommodations (which includes all businesses) is well-established supreme court law. Despite your wishes, it is not going to change.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jar
      jar

      @Cam: Wow- wrote my comment before reading yours. How funny that we both picked the same example.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Samantha: Replace “gay” with “black” or “Jewish.” Would your response be the same? She is discriminating, and violating the law by doing so. Elderly or not, different opinions or not, she deserves to reap what she sows. She is a bigot, and should be treated as such.

      You, on the other hand, are a pathetic, misguided creature who doesn’t know what it is to actually fight for rights. If everyone thought and behaved like you, I’d still be sitting in the back of the bus because I am black.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jar
      jar

      @Samantha: So the antidiscrimination laws should have an age limit? And a good temperament exception? That’s ridiculous on its face. WA law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She has willfully violated that law. The resultant consequences are her own. Any harm to her business as a result of breaking the law is not the fault of the victims or of those who would call for a boycott of her business. (Threatening to burn it down is uncalled for, but welcome to the age of internet rage.)

      If she loses her business it will be because the community has decided that it does not share her views and does not want to do business with a bigot, however genteel she may appear. Others are, of course, free to bring their patronage because they agree with her views. The only reason why she would be put out of business is because there are not enough bigots to keep her afloat. And that’s a good thing for all of us.

      Your statement of support for gay and lesbian rights is unconvincing if you believe that discrimination is okay so long as you don’t use a gun or pitchfork to practice your discrimination.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • celticskeptic
      celticskeptic

      It’s so funny how many openly homophobic people claim they can’t possibly be categorized as such because they “have gay friends”. Friends stick up for each others’ rights.

      Mar 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • minohan623
      minohan623

      Ordering flowers is a simple way to show someone in Richmond you’re thinking of them. With a passion and flair for creating unique flower designs, using only the finest fresh flowers, look no further for a Richmond florist. http://budflowers.com.au/richmond-florist/

      Mar 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • erasure25
      erasure25

      @Ricky: You misinterpreted what I said. A doctor refusing to provide a requested treatment because it is a bad treatment option is one thing. Actively saying they will not see or treat a patient because of their religious beliefs is wrong and against their oath as a doctor to do no harm. Inaction or unwillingness to serve a patient because they are gay/black/jewish is harmful.
      And your opinion is that businesses should be able to discriminate. Well, the law says you cannot on the basis of certain characteristics, such as race, sex, religion and sexual orientation in many areas including WA. So the law does not agree with you opinnion in this case.

      Mar 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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