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Religious florist fined for refusing gay wedding

Religious florist fined for refusing gay wedding

A Southern Baptist florist will now be forced to provide flowers for gay weddings on a court order.

Barronelle Stutzman, from Washington, was given 60 days to pay a fine of $1,000 (€922) plus $1 for court costs and fees after refusing to sell flowers for a same-sex couple’s wedding.

Back in 2013, Robert Ingersoll – who had bought flowers from Stutzman for years – asked her to provide flowers for his wedding to Curt Freed.

But she refused, claiming it would go against her ‘relationship with Jesus Christ’.

A Benton County Superior judge has now ruled that Stutzman is bound not violate the state’s non-discrimination law again and must sell all products to gay couples ‘including but not limited to goods, merchandise and services for weddings and commitment ceremonies’.

Stutzman was originally ordered to pay $2,000 (€1,842) but refused.

‘You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer,’ she said, ‘one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do.’

She may be ordered to pay more, as damages for Ingersoll and Freed has yet to be determined.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose office requested the fine, said the ruling is a reminder of the reach of Washington’s anti-discrimination laws.

‘My primary goal has always been to end illegal discrimination,’ Ferguson said in a statement. ‘I’m pleased that today’s ruling clearly prohibits discrimination against same-sex couples.’