OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled that a florist who refused to provide services for a same-sex wedding broke anti-discrimination laws.
The nine justices posted their unanimous ruling on Thursday. Barronelle Stutzman, a florist in Richland, Washington, had been fined by a lower court for denying service to a gay couple in 2013.
Stutzman had previously sold the couple flowers and knew they were gay but told them she couldn't provide flowers for their wedding because same-sex marriage was incompatible with her Christian beliefs.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the couple sued her, saying she broke state anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws, and the lower court agreed.
"Our work on this case should be a clear indication of how strongly we all feel about protecting the rights of all Washingtonians," Ferguson said during a Thursday news conference. "The reason why I chose to argue this case myself before the state Supreme Court - it's the first time I've done that - I did it because I wanted to signal to the court and to the people of our state just how strongly I feel about it."