WASHINGTON — On the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, the high court vacated and remanded the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision in Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington, a case involving a same-sex couple turned away from a flower shop because they are LGBT.
In 2017, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in favor of American Civil Liberties Union clients Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll, who were denied service by a flower shop in 2013 while planning their wedding. Today’s decision comes one week after the Supreme Court’s decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, in which the court kept in place laws prohibiting discrimination but ruled for the bakery based on concerns about anti-religious bias by a state civil rights commission.
“The Supreme Court today asked the Washington courts to re-examine our clients’ case in light of the recent decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop,” said James Esseks, director of ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project. “To be clear, the court made no indication the lower courts ruled incorrectly and made no decision on the case’s merits. We are confident that the Washington State Supreme Court will rule once again in favor of the same-sex couple, and reaffirm its decision that no business has a right to discriminate. Our work to ensure LGBT equality is the law and the norm in all 50 states will continue.”
Ingersoll said, “No one should have to experience the hurt that we did. Curt and I now live our lives on-guard in a way that we didn’t before we were turned away from Arlene’s Flowers. No one should have to experience that, and we’re hopeful the Washington courts will again recognize that this case is clearly about discrimination, which has no place in the public marketplace or in our Constitution.”
For more information on Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington: https://www.aclu.org/cases/ingersoll-v-arlenes-flowers
For more information on Masterpiece Cakeshop: https://www.aclu.org/cases/masterpiece-cakeshop-v-colorado-civil-rights-commission
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