Judge rules against florist who didn’t want to serve gays

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — A judge has decided the state of Washington has the authority to bring a consumer protection lawsuit against a florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom also ruled Wednesday that the owner of the Richland, Washington, flower shop can be held personally liable for violating the Consumer Protection Act.

Barronelle Stutzman and her shop, Arlene’s Flowers, are being sued for refusing to sell flowers for a 2013 same-sex wedding.

The judge still has two more motions to rule on in the lawsuit, including whether the facts case show the florist violated the Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

The state attorney general is asking for a permanent injunction requiring Stutzman and her shop to comply with the consumer protection law.

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