Court hears case of florist sued for refusing gay couple
BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) — A florist who was sued for refusing to provide services for a same sex-wedding says she was exercising her First Amendment rights, but Washington Supreme Court justices questioned whether ruling in her favor would mean other businesses could turn away customers based on racial or other grounds.
The court heard arguments Tuesday in the case against Barronelle Stutzman, who was fined for denying service to a gay couple in 2013.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson says the state and federal constitutions confer no right to discriminate against people.
Justice Steven Gonzalez compared the florist's action to racial discrimination, asking what would happen if someone proclaimed a sincerely held religious belief not to serve interracial couples.
But the florist's attorney said that under First Amendment protections, Stutzman should not be compelled to support same-sex marriage.
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The Gayly - 11/15/2016 @ 1:43 p.m. CST.