Christian Florist Wins at Supreme Court in Gay Wedding Case

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The U.S. Supreme Court Monday vacated a Washington state ruling against local florist Barronelle Stutzman, who in 2013 declined to make flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding.

Monday's decision comes on the heels of the Masterpiece cakeshop case, in which the Supreme Court sided with baker Jack Phillips (left) after he refused to make a cake for the wedding of gay couple Charlie Craig (left in right image) and David Mullins (right in right image). Stutzman argued that arranging the flowers, or even having someone else on her staff arrange the flowers, would amount to an endorsement of a marriage that she felt would violate her religious convictions. Stutzman had counted Robert Ingersoll as a customer for almost a decade when he came in one day in 2013 and said he wanted to talk about flowers for his wedding to his longtime companion, Curt Freed.

In Stutzman's case, the Washington State Supreme Court must now interpret whether she was treated fairly when the court first heard her case.

Washington's attorney general, Robert Ferguson, said Stutzman was seeking a rule "that would allow every tattoo parlor, print shop, hair salon, photography studio, bakery, law firm, or other business whose work involves a degree of "expression" to discriminate against customers".

In dissent, however, three judges said that Dassey was "subjected to myriad psychologically coercive techniques but the state court did not review his interrogation with the special care required by Supreme Court precedent".

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Representing Stutzman, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing Stutzman's case should be reconsidered because the court reversed Colorado's decision to punish Phillips for declining the same-sex couples request based on his religious beliefs about marriage. The Supreme Court order gives Stutzman a chance to prove she was the victim of religious hostility. The court appeared closely divided on the case in April and split 5-4 last fall when it opted to freeze a lower court opinion invalidating two congressional districts and state house districts in four counties. Today's decision sends their arguments back to Washington State.

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"Barronelle, like Jack, serves all customers but declines to create custom art that expresses messages or celebrates events in conflict with her deeply held religious beliefs", Waggoner said.

The US supreme court has upheld Donald Trump's travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries, in a significant victory for the administration and a blow to anti-discrimination advocates.

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