State Supreme Court hears case of florist who refused to sell to gay couple

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The Washington State Supreme court is hearing arguments in the case of a florist who denied a gay couple flowers in 2013.

Arguments were heard from both sides at Bellevue College.

The case has drawn heated debate on both sides.

The owner of Arlene's Flower Shop in Richland, Barronelle Stutzman, refused to provide flowers for a customer's wedding in 2013.

The longtime customer, Robert Ingersall, was marrying his partner, Curtis Freed.

Arlene's owner, Barronelle Stutzman, cited her relationship with Jesus Christ as the reason she could not provide the flowers for the wedding.

In 2015, a Benton County judge said that's not a reason to deny service, but now, Stutzman's case will be heard by the Supreme Court.

It’s a case of what the flower shop and her attorneys call religious freedom and First Amendment rights versus what the attorney general's office and the couple calls discrimination and violation of consumer protection laws.

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